Clergyman’s Wife. Finished 12-17-19, 4/5 stars, Pride and Prejudice story, pub. 2019
Charlotte Collins, nee Lucas, is the respectable wife of Hunsford’s vicar, and sees to her duties by rote: keeping house, caring for their adorable daughter, visiting parishioners, and patiently tolerating the lectures of her awkward husband and his condescending patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Intelligent, pragmatic, and anxious to escape the shame of spinsterhood, Charlotte chose this life, an inevitable one so socially acceptable that its quietness threatens to overwhelm her. Then she makes the acquaintance of Mr. Travis, a local farmer and tenant of Lady Catherine..
In Mr. Travis’ company, Charlotte feels appreciated, heard, and seen. For the first time in her life, Charlotte begins to understand emotional intimacy and its effect on the heart—and how breakable that heart can be. With her sensible nature confronted, and her own future about to take a turn, Charlotte must now question the role of love and passion in a woman’s life, and whether they truly matter for a clergyman’s wife. from Goodreads
I feel like I know the characters from Pride and Prejudice fairly well and I was so happy that this continuation felt like Charlotte. This was beautifully written and Greeley got the story and tone exactly right for the practical Charlotte. The other returning players, especially Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine, were well within character. We caught a few glimpses of the late parents of Mr. Collins, but for the most part his absurdity remained intact.
Charlotte knew she was choosing a life as the wife of a vicar because it was the best she could hope for at the age of 27, but as the years went on she never felt particularly suited for it. She lost a child at childbirth and now had a young daughter, Louisa, who took up her time. Then she strikes a friendship with Mr. Travis, an emotionally charged friendship and she comes into her own under his warm eyes.
This was a nice, sweet read. I’m so glad that I got to know Charlotte a bit better and look forward to reading more from Greeley since this was her first novel. Well done.
I want to thank TLC Book Tours for getting this book in my hands. I’ll leave you with a passage I enjoyed,
“Though I am nowhere near as intrepid a walker as my friend Elizabeth, I feel pulled outside on days such as this, when I wake to the stifling closeness of the parsonage walls; to William’s snores and his heavy arm pinning me in place against the mattress. In my own home, and at Rosings Park, I often feel diminished. Out here, though, I also feel small, it is in the best sense of the word. I am part of the world here, humbled and expanded all at once.” Chapter 4