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The Clergyman's Wife: A Pride and Prejudice Novel

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For everyone who loved Pride and Prejudice—and legions of historical fiction lovers—an inspired debut novel set in Austen’s world. 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 For everyone who loved Pride and Prejudice—and legions of historical fiction lovers—an inspired debut novel set in Austen’s world. 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.


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For everyone who loved Pride and Prejudice—and legions of historical fiction lovers—an inspired debut novel set in Austen’s world. 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 For everyone who loved Pride and Prejudice—and legions of historical fiction lovers—an inspired debut novel set in Austen’s world. 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.

30 review for The Clergyman's Wife: A Pride and Prejudice Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I love a Pride and Prejudice retelling, and The Clergyman’s Wife was so much fun! Charlotte is the wife of a vicar, and as such, she has prescribed duties, including those typical of a lady at the time, but also involving visits to parishioners. She also attends the lectures by her husband and his patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Charlotte is not the typical vicar’s wife, though. She chose this life rather than that of a spinster. She chose it but that doesn’t mean she’s not dying of boredom I love a Pride and Prejudice retelling, and The Clergyman’s Wife was so much fun! Charlotte is the wife of a vicar, and as such, she has prescribed duties, including those typical of a lady at the time, but also involving visits to parishioners. She also attends the lectures by her husband and his patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Charlotte is not the typical vicar’s wife, though. She chose this life rather than that of a spinster. She chose it but that doesn’t mean she’s not dying of boredom because she is. Then, Charlotte meets Mr. Travis, a local farmer and tenant of Lady Catherine. Mr. Travis makes Charlotte feel valued and understood, and she quickly realizes his hold on her heart. Should she have love and passion in her life, or should she settle with safety and comfort? The Clergyman’s Wife is a gentle, easy story. It reads smoothly, and the characters are well-developed. There’s a short surprise appearance by some beloved fictional characters- I LOVED that. I found this a fresh take on the classic tale and one I enjoyed. The writing is lyrical, and I was completely enveloped in Charlotte’s journey towards the happiness she hopes to find. Both historical fiction fans and fans of Austen should relish their time spent with this gem. I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    Charlotte married Mr Collins, not out of love but out of a need for security. This story picks up on these characters from Pride and Prejudice and tells us what happened next. I never usually pick up book written by another author that features an established author’s characters like Jane Austen, but something about this one called to me. I was not disappointed. I quickly settled into the tenor of the story and became absorbed in the story. I enjoyed catching up with the characters. I enjoyed Charlotte married Mr Collins, not out of love but out of a need for security. This story picks up on these characters from Pride and Prejudice and tells us what happened next. I never usually pick up book written by another author that features an established author’s characters like Jane Austen, but something about this one called to me. I was not disappointed. I quickly settled into the tenor of the story and became absorbed in the story. I enjoyed catching up with the characters. I enjoyed getting to know Charlotte more. Her husband, William, is still very much under deferential thrall to Lady Catherine, who is her pompous, arrogant and interfering self. When she goes to talk to Mr Collins about him his last sermon she tells him it was ’uninspiring.’ I clearly heard her voice and the tone it was said in and had a little chuckle. There are many amusing moments and equally poignant moments as Charlotte relates to the local people and gets to know Mr Travis and his elderly father, who take a shine to Charlotte and William’s baby Louisa. I really liked the careful friendship that evolves between Charlotte and Mrs Fitzgibbon. This is a gentle and charming read that reflects and build on the original period and characters, even to the fleeting appearance of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy. As the relationship between Charlotte and Mr Travis progressed I did wonder how it would play out. The ending perfectly complimented the chracters and the genre. My heartfelt thanks to Allen and Unwin for my uncorrected proof copy to read and review. The whole story is lyrical. I loved it. Fans of Jane Austen will definitely not be disappointed. What a charming debut novel Molly Greeley has given us to enjoy. It is new and fresh yet still manages to retain the essence of the original. Along with the well-rounded characters, the period and the setting, the little details so beautifully rendered make this a delight to read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    “He was not an attractive young man; he was heavy of cheek and jowl, with slightly irregular features and thinning hair, and his manners were so awkward that it was hard, at times, to keep my countenance as he veered from unaccountable pomposity to slavish compliments.” The Clergyman’s Wife is the first novel by American author, Molly Greeley. After her friend Lizzie Bennet rejected Mr Collins, twenty-seven-year-old Charlotte Lucas made sure to put herself in his path “when his pride was hurt and “He was not an attractive young man; he was heavy of cheek and jowl, with slightly irregular features and thinning hair, and his manners were so awkward that it was hard, at times, to keep my countenance as he veered from unaccountable pomposity to slavish compliments.” The Clergyman’s Wife is the first novel by American author, Molly Greeley. After her friend Lizzie Bennet rejected Mr Collins, twenty-seven-year-old Charlotte Lucas made sure to put herself in his path “when his pride was hurt and he was especially vulnerable to flattery” because she realised that she was (as Lady Catherine de Bourgh later put it) “neither too lively nor too handsome.” Being the clergyman’s wife would secure her future without dependence on the goodwill of her brothers. Now, three years later, as wife of William and mother of baby Louisa, she began to understand what it is to be married to the man who fervently fawns at Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s every utterance. She had believed that enduring his company for the sake of security was something she could manage. But now his imperious patroness insists on a rose garden at the parsonage, and sends one of her tenant farmers to install it. The farmer is neither handsome nor educated but, through her incidental interactions with Robby Travis, Charlotte discovers a man who is courteous, interested and has a sense of humour that is noticeably absent in her good husband. Aware that she does not share her whole self with William, she begins to wonder if perhaps he does not give himself fully either. “Perhaps we are both caught in this elaborate pantomime.” But with Mr Travis, it is as if he sees into her soul. Charlotte Collins, however, is a married woman... Greeley easily evokes the world that Jane Austen’s characters inhabit, and her portrayal of characters we already know from Pride and Prejudice is very much in keeping with the way Austen wrote them. The events that punctuate their lives and the way they react to them is entirely plausible. This is a wonderfully moving debut novel that is bound to have readers choking up and reaching for the tissues in the final chapters. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Allen & Unwin.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Bok

    How I loved this sensitive, sophisticated novel that dives into the life of Charlotte Collins with empathy and affection! The character of Charlotte Lucas Collins in Pride and Prejudice has always touched me strongly. Whereas Elizabeth and Jane Bennet enjoy charmed fates, Charlotte is a reminder to the reader that reality is different for most women, who must chart a more problematic course to fashion a life that deserves the label. Not pretty, well educated, or wealthy, Charlotte faces a How I loved this sensitive, sophisticated novel that dives into the life of Charlotte Collins with empathy and affection! The character of Charlotte Lucas Collins in Pride and Prejudice has always touched me strongly. Whereas Elizabeth and Jane Bennet enjoy charmed fates, Charlotte is a reminder to the reader that reality is different for most women, who must chart a more problematic course to fashion a life that deserves the label. Not pretty, well educated, or wealthy, Charlotte faces a spinster's life of limits and degradations, large and small; instead she marries a man she does not particularly like or respect but who has a respectable position in the world and can provide for her a home and a position she need not be ashamed of. Women throughout time have been put in the position of making this invidious choice and then being held cheap for making it. This story begins several years after her marriage to William Collins, and the opening deserves quoting at length because it gives a taste of the visceral, precise, eloquent style of the whole book: "Mr. Collins walks like a man who has never become comfortable with his height: his shoulders hunched, his neck thrust forward. His legs cross great stretches of ground with a single stride. I see him as I pass the bedroom window, and for a moment I am arrested, my lungs squeezing painfully under my ribs, the pads of my fingers pressed against the cool glass. The next moment, I am moving down the stairs, holding my hem above my ankles. When I push open the door and step out into the lane, I raise my eyes and find Mr. Collins only a few feet distant. Mr. Collins sees me and raises his hat. His brow is damp with the exertion of walking and his expression is one of mingled anticipation and wariness. Seeing it, the tightness in my chest dissipates. Later, when I have time to reflect, I will perhaps wonder how it is possible to simultaneously want something so much and so little, but in the moment before Mr. Collins speaks, as I step toward him through the fallen leaves, I am awash in calm." So much to unpack there! And so little that is straightforward. I was hooked. I love openings that pack in little emotional twists and surprises, but their promise is rarely sustained over the entire course of a novel. This book held me spellbound from start to finish: Charlotte's life contains humiliations and rewards, joys and tragedy; she is passionate but completely shut down; and through the first-person, present-tense narrative we live each moment deeply, feeling sympathy but never quite sure what choices she will make next. The author's skill is remarkable but unobtrusive; I never felt the wheels turning behind the scenes. Greeley has a terrific grasp of the manners of the age; I never felt the impulse to mentally edit her. And the writing vividly evokes the physical world Charlotte inhabits without ever going over the top into gratuitous description. The Clergyman's Wife deserves the full major-publisher, big-publicity-splash treatment. It would have appeal far beyond the boundaries of Austenesque fiction. Any reader interested in understanding the inward lives of women would value this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Arthur

    The Clergyman's Wife by Molly Greeley This was a light and charmingly delightful read. It’s a story inspired by the Pride and Prejudice novel. Respectable spinster Charlotte Lucus marries Hunsford’s vicar, the awkward Mr. William Collins. Charlotte doesn’t love him but she bows to the social expectation and security of marriage. She knows she’s not an attractive woman and cannot wait for love to find her. The story has perfectly captured Charlotte’s loveless marriage, she’s forfeited her dreams of The Clergyman's Wife by Molly Greeley This was a light and charmingly delightful read. It’s a story inspired by the Pride and Prejudice novel. Respectable spinster Charlotte Lucus marries Hunsford’s vicar, the awkward Mr. William Collins. Charlotte doesn’t love him but she bows to the social expectation and security of marriage. She knows she’s not an attractive woman and cannot wait for love to find her. The story has perfectly captured Charlotte’s loveless marriage, she’s forfeited her dreams of romance, physical attraction and desire in order to make a home and family of her own. She patiently tolerates her husband’s lectures, annoying mannerisms and his frantic energy and goes about her duties. Charlotte leads a good life but without any passion. Mr Travis, a farmer is enlisted to plant some roses at the parsonage, a gift from Lady Catherine the patroness. Charlotte feels a connection to him and they slowly build a friendship, she begins to understand how breakable the heart can be. A thoughtful and entertaining read. Thank you to Allen & Unwin for an ARC in return for an honest review

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

    When spinster Charlotte Lucas, Jane Austen’s most unromantic, pragmatic character, settled for the odious Mr. Collins, we were quite certain of her connubial un-bliss. Molly Greeley’s continuation of her story after the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice sensitively reveals her wedded life with heartbreak and humor. Austen fans will revel in her lyrical prose and reverence to the canon, while historical fiction readers will appreciate her atmospheric Regency world and historical accuracy. The When spinster Charlotte Lucas, Jane Austen’s most unromantic, pragmatic character, settled for the odious Mr. Collins, we were quite certain of her connubial un-bliss. Molly Greeley’s continuation of her story after the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice sensitively reveals her wedded life with heartbreak and humor. Austen fans will revel in her lyrical prose and reverence to the canon, while historical fiction readers will appreciate her atmospheric Regency world and historical accuracy. The Clergyman’s Wife is a poignant, pensive, and brilliant exploration of women’s lot in early nineteenth-century England and how one woman rose to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. – Laurel Ann Nattress, editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kylie H

    I am not a huge Jane Austen fan (sheer blasphemy!!) but I really did enjoy this book which explores the character of Charlotte (Lucas) Collins from Pride and Prejudice. This is quite a gently told story of Charlotte's 'acceptance' of her marriage and her husband. Her observations of his manner, speech and personality reveal her tolerance of her situation. She is content in her role of parsons wife but not in love. As she notes the love between other couples in her life she finds herself becoming I am not a huge Jane Austen fan (sheer blasphemy!!) but I really did enjoy this book which explores the character of Charlotte (Lucas) Collins from Pride and Prejudice. This is quite a gently told story of Charlotte's 'acceptance' of her marriage and her husband. Her observations of his manner, speech and personality reveal her tolerance of her situation. She is content in her role of parsons wife but not in love. As she notes the love between other couples in her life she finds herself becoming jealous and noting even more of William's flaws. Circumstances bring a local farmer, Mr Travis, across her path and an attraction is immediately felt between them. Is this something that she is prepared to act upon? A very enjoyable story and I can recommend it. Thank you Allen & Unwin for the uncorrected ARC paperback.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com ‘I LONG AGO determined to live my life not in noisy discontentment but in quiet acceptance.’ Since Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813, this classic novel has seen many remakes and spin offs. Author Molly Greeley has released her debut novel about Charlotte Lucas, a secondary character in Pride and Prejudice. The Clergyman’s Wife is a story of love, life choices, pride, security, duty, family and entitlement. It is a gentle side *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com ‘I LONG AGO determined to live my life not in noisy discontentment but in quiet acceptance.’ Since Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813, this classic novel has seen many remakes and spin offs. Author Molly Greeley has released her debut novel about Charlotte Lucas, a secondary character in Pride and Prejudice. The Clergyman’s Wife is a story of love, life choices, pride, security, duty, family and entitlement. It is a gentle side accompaniment to one of our most beloved classics. Charlotte Lucas has married for a sense of security, not true love. She is now known as Charlotte Collins, the clergyman’s wife. Charlotte is dedicated to her role as the vicar of Hunsford’s wife. She puts the needs of her parishioners above her own. Charlotte is also a hardworking housekeeper and a loving mother. Mrs Collins is a giving, patient and tolerant woman. Charlotte is also very accepting her husband’s shortcomings, as well as the pressures placed on her by the formidable Lady Catherine de Burgh. Charlotte knows that this is the life that she chose, despite the awkward relations she shares with her husband. When a local farmer befriends Charlotte and her daughter, Charlotte’s eyes are opened to friendly conversation, a natural connection and mutual respect, but also a sense of longing. Charlotte knows her duty to both her husband and her parish, but she can’t help but consider what life would be like if she had more passion in her life. Charlotte’s spirit is tested in this affable story of the life of a dutiful clergyman’s wife. When I cast my mind back to Charlotte Lucas in Pride and Prejudice, a book I adore, I consider this fairly minor character from Austen’s book to be a loyal friend to Elizabeth, but rather plain and accepting. Molly Greeley has managed to take a secondary character of little impression and flesh her story out into a full length companion story. I am sure fans of Austen and historical fiction novels will find much to appreciate in The Clergyman’s Wife. What immediately struck me about this novel was the clear depiction of the time period and setting in which The Clergyman’s Wife is set. We are made inherently aware of the lack of choice, restrictions, sense of duty, moral codes, marital rules and societal expectations of the time. Elizabeth and Jane Bennet managed to marry for love, rather than expectation or duty, which was rare for the time. In Charlotte Lucas, we a see a woman fearing spinsterhood and wishing to establish her own household, marriage and family. This leads Charlotte to accept the hand of marriage offered by Mr Collins. This act makes us see that for many women of this time period, love and passion was cast aside for duty. Charlotte is an agreeable character, sometimes a little lacklustre, but ultimately I respected her decisions and movements. She comes to life thanks to the writing of Molly Greeley, who approaches her story with a sense of creativity, thoughtfulness and historical flair. The book is told from Charlotte’s sole point of view, so we bear witness to her inner thoughts and feelings. I was moved by pressure placed on Charlotte to marry for security, rather than true love. I was also emotionally drawn to an upsetting life event that occurs in Charlotte’s married life. Greeley approached this aspect of Charlotte’s life with sensitivity and insight. Familiar characters from Austen’s classic make reappearance in The Clergyman’s Wife. I really appreciated getting to know Elizabeth, Darcy, the Bennet family and Lady Catherine de Burgh once again, from an altered perspective. It was like greeting an old set of friends in this reunion and continuation of the events of the original book. Mr Collins is just as irritating, awkward and embarrassing on the pages of this novel. I liked the addition of new characters, such as Mr Travis, who becomes a significant part of Charlotte’s journey in this story. Greeley devotes a good deal of the novel to illuminating the role of a clergyman’s wife, a position I feel Charlotte performs with care, dedication and effort, she seems suited to this role. Following Charlotte’s story as a clergyman’s wife made me appreciate the selfless nature, sacrifices and goodwill that goes hand in hand with this position. But there was a sort of longing, melancholy, regret and isolation that shrouds Charlotte, which Greeley captures within the pages of this novel. There is definitely a strong touch of realism in this novel, which I admired. The Clergyman’s Wife is a touching tribute to the rousing classic Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Meditative, authentic and beguiling, I appreciated the opportunity to be further acquainted with Charlotte Collins. The Clergyman’s Wife will sit well with Austen devotees, along with those who read historical fiction. *Thanks extended to Allen & Unwin for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sharah McConville

    The Clergyman's Wife is a beautiful tribute to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I enjoyed reading about Charlotte Lucas, best friend of Lizzy Bennett, and her new husband Mr Collins. As a teenager I couldn't get enough of the BBC Pride and Prejudice and I feel like this book picked up right from where the show (and book) ended. It was enjoyable to read about the other characters from Austen's book. Thanks to Allen & Unwin for my ARC copy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sahitya

    The only classics I really loved are Jane Austen’s books and I’ve read them many many times, so these days it’s much more exciting for me to find contemporary authors reimagining her books or characters. And this book fascinated me right from the time I saw it on Edelweiss, because when have we ever thought more about Charlotte’s life after her marriage to Mr. Collins. I was very happy when I received this advance copy and I devoured this in just a few hours. This is the author’s debut novel but The only classics I really loved are Jane Austen’s books and I’ve read them many many times, so these days it’s much more exciting for me to find contemporary authors reimagining her books or characters. And this book fascinated me right from the time I saw it on Edelweiss, because when have we ever thought more about Charlotte’s life after her marriage to Mr. Collins. I was very happy when I received this advance copy and I devoured this in just a few hours. This is the author’s debut novel but you probably wouldn’t be able to guess that because the prose is absolutely beautiful and lyrical and so many other adjectives which I don’t even know. While I couldn’t put the book down at all, it is by no means a fast paced novel. It’s slow and languid and has a melancholic aesthetic to it, and you can feel every single feeling that the author wants you to. Days go by and the seasons change and that atmosphere is so perfectly captured that it amazed me. I also thought the author wrote about Charlotte’s loneliness in a way that deeply resonated with me. It also helps that the author knows her P&P characters well and even though she is writing her own backstory and future story for them, you feel that these are the same people whom you have known since you first read the original and you are just getting to know them better now. I think it’s difficult to create a new story with familiar characters without being too disruptive, and I love that the author managed to create a perfect balance. I’m pretty sure most of us pitied Charlotte for choosing marry Mr. Collins, maybe even looked down on her for compromising - but she knows what she did and why she had to make those choices. We get to know her so much more better in this book - her childhood dreams, the moment she realized she was never going to be a catch, and her decision to choose comfort and security over love. She is a very kind hearted woman who is trying to make the best of her life, but there are also moments of self reflection, pain and loneliness, of thinking about what-ifs and wondering what more she can do. And the time when she realizes what emotional intimacy can feel like, what does it feel like to be seen and heard - her heartache and confusion was very poignant and beautifully written. I have to say I really empathized with her a lot and only wanted her to be happy. Mr. Collins is the same person we know, giving his long winding opinions on everything and being extra deferential towards Lady Catherine. And while he can be annoying as ever, seeing him through Charlotte’s eyes brings a certain humanity to his character. He is not someone who is expressive or good at communicating true feelings, but she manages to get little glimpses of his true self and I thought that was done so sensitively. Lady Catherine is her usual obnoxious self and I don’t think anyone can make her seem more sympathetic. I loved the two newly added characters Mr. Travis and Mrs. Fitzgibbon and the lovely friendship and companionship they brought to Charlotte, who was so starved for affection. And I was totally delighted to see her daughter Louisa grow up within the pages of the book. And I won’t deny that getting to meet Lizzy and Mr. Darcy was amazing, even if just for a couple of scenes. To conclude, if you love Austen retellings or spinoffs, you should definitely try this book. It’s beautiful and evocative and completely captured my heart. I was probably in a fragile emotional state while reading it (and needed some catharsis it looks like) because I wept and wept through most of the second half. It’s not a sad book per se, but it does have a bit of that feeling permeating throughout - and while it made me cry, I don’t think it’ll elicit the same reaction in everyone. I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to read this book and I’m very much looking forward to see what the author writes next.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    The Clergyman's Wife is a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that follows Pride and Prejudice's Charlotte Lucas as she builds her life in Kent after marrying Mr. Collins. Molly Greeley tells Charlotte's story from the first person point of view, so readers really get to know her and understand why she was willing to marry a laughingstock of a man who had been rejected by her best friend. Charlotte has given up any foolish notions of romance and love in exchange for security, but she finds happiness The Clergyman's Wife is a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that follows Pride and Prejudice's Charlotte Lucas as she builds her life in Kent after marrying Mr. Collins. Molly Greeley tells Charlotte's story from the first person point of view, so readers really get to know her and understand why she was willing to marry a laughingstock of a man who had been rejected by her best friend. Charlotte has given up any foolish notions of romance and love in exchange for security, but she finds happiness with her infant daughter, Louisa. Greeley describes the early days of their marriage and how Charlotte settled into her life as the clergyman's wife. She cares for Louisa, suffers through William's sermons with the rest of the congregation, calms his anxieties and redirects his attentions whenever possible, endures visits to Rosings and the high handedness of Lady Catherine, and worries that she is not up to the task of caring for the families of the parish. When Charlotte befriends Mr. Travis, a tenant farmer of Lady Catherine's, she is thrown off kilter, not used to being truly seen and heard. Greeley's Charlotte is a complicated character, one who understands the obstacles life has thrown in her path and takes practical steps to overcome them -- and who also understands that her choices cannot be undone. It was easy to get lost in Charlotte's story because she felt real. She knew her options were limited and followed her mind, not her heart, in choosing her path. She knew her husband was ridiculous but made the best of a difficult situation, holding onto moments of tenderness that seemed few and far between. Greeley's Mr. Collins isn't cruel; he seems self-centered, obsequious where Lady Catherine is concerned, and careless with his words. It's easier to understand Charlotte's reasoning for marrying him than it is to understand how she is going to put up with him until death do they part -- especially after watching her friendship with Mr. Travis evolve. The Clergyman's Wife gives Charlotte a chance to tell her story, and a chance to see what she might have had. The Darcys and the Bennets make appearances, but this is truly Charlotte's story, an emotional battle of sorts between the desire for love and the reality of her life as Mrs. Collins. It gave me a new appreciation for Charlotte and is definitely one of the best Pride and Prejudice-inspired novels I've ever read, staying true to Jane Austen's character while breathing new life into her. Review originally posted on Diary of an Eccentric

  12. 5 out of 5

    Renee Hermansen

    Many thanks to Allen&Unwin for this Advanced reading copy. I had great pleasure in reading this book. It is written from the one characters perspective throughout which I quite enjoyed as it was simple to follow. Charlotte Collins marries a vicar, not for love but to ensure her position in society and her future. In this role she meets a farmer who she becomes very fond of and he of her and she discovers what could of been for her had she not chosen the path she has. Being a respectable lady Many thanks to Allen&Unwin for this Advanced reading copy. I had great pleasure in reading this book. It is written from the one characters perspective throughout which I quite enjoyed as it was simple to follow. Charlotte Collins marries a vicar, not for love but to ensure her position in society and her future. In this role she meets a farmer who she becomes very fond of and he of her and she discovers what could of been for her had she not chosen the path she has. Being a respectable lady she does the right thing but makes promises to herself that her daughter will not follow the same fate. I recommend this book as an easy to read book by the author Molly Greeley. I will endeavor to find more of her work in the future.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Jenner

    Lucky to receive an advance reading copy of THE CLERGYMAN'S WIFE (forthcoming from William Morrow, December 2019), I was both very entertained and moved by Molly Greeley's debut novel about one of Jane Austen's more relatable and enigmatic characters, Charlotte Lucas from "Pride and Prejudice." Having always enjoyed both Charlotte's pragmatism and her friendship with Austen's heroine Elizabeth Bennet, it was particularly satisfying to read this wholly new and creative work of fiction. Greeley's Lucky to receive an advance reading copy of THE CLERGYMAN'S WIFE (forthcoming from William Morrow, December 2019), I was both very entertained and moved by Molly Greeley's debut novel about one of Jane Austen's more relatable and enigmatic characters, Charlotte Lucas from "Pride and Prejudice." Having always enjoyed both Charlotte's pragmatism and her friendship with Austen's heroine Elizabeth Bennet, it was particularly satisfying to read this wholly new and creative work of fiction. Greeley's writing style is exquisite and lyrical, and through strong and measured control of her prose, she captures perfectly the interior emotional landscape of a woman who has compromised significantly in some areas of life (romance, physical attraction, companionship) in order to forge a life and home and family of her own. Although a stand-alone story in many ways, the book also works on another level, building on the more familiar reader's notions of Charlotte's husband's quirks and follies, his patron Lady Catherine de Bourgh's selfish arrogance, and her sickly daughter's lack of social energy; at the same time brand-new secondary characters, whether baby Louisa or the attractive Mr. Travis or the lonely neighbour Mrs. Fitzgibbon, are equally memorable. This is a book to savour, like the seasons and the emotions it so skillfully draws, and Greeley is a wonderful new talent to discover.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mellie Antoinette

    The closest to Jane Austen’s original, I’ve had the pleasure of reading. And that’s saying something given Mr. Collins might be the most annoying character ever envisioned in ink. But Charlotte Lucas, his wife, is described with such warmth, such heart that I instantly loved her! Shelve this one right next to Pride and Prejudice as it has earned pride of place in my book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)

    Charlotte Collins Contemplates Her Contentment and Choices TYPE OF NOVEL: Secondary Character, Pride and Prejudice Sequel TIME FRAME: Begins 3 years after the close of Pride and Prejudice SYNOPSIS: What happens to Charlotte after the close of Pride and Prejudice? Does she find tolerable contentment with Mr. Collins? Does she have any regrets? Or do motherhood, being in charge of her own establishment, and her role as a clergyman’s wife provide such sources of happiness that she has “no cause to Charlotte Collins Contemplates Her Contentment and Choices TYPE OF NOVEL: Secondary Character, Pride and Prejudice Sequel TIME FRAME: Begins 3 years after the close of Pride and Prejudice SYNOPSIS: What happens to Charlotte after the close of Pride and Prejudice? Does she find tolerable contentment with Mr. Collins? Does she have any regrets? Or do motherhood, being in charge of her own establishment, and her role as a clergyman’s wife provide such sources of happiness that she has “no cause to repine?” Charlotte is known for making a pragmatic choice and not being romantic, but some years later finds Charlotte reflecting on her choices, comparing her situation to Elizabeth Darcy’s and her sister’s, and forming an unexpected friendship that challenges Charlotte’s preconceived ideas of happiness and companionship. WHAT I LOVED: - Charlotte’s POV: Told in first person POV, this story gives such an intimate understanding of the life of a woman who chose a marriage of convenience at the age of twenty-seven. Charlotte’s straightforward manner, honesty about herself, and clearsighted candidness all make her a reliable and extremely likable narrator. I especially loved the chance to observe all of Charlotte’s inner thoughts and private reactions. Very rarely does Charlotte show or express her true feelings, so this was a brilliant way for Molly Greeley to have her readers understand, sympathize, and connect with Charlotte. - Charlotte’s Unique Transitions: In all my years of reading Pride and Prejudice related stories I have never thought about Charlotte’s evolution from the daughter of a successful tradesman to the daughter of knighted and newly-minted gentleman. What a challenging and awkward transition for Charlotte to make – she was raised as a tradesman’s daughter, with quite a different expectation of where life might take her. And then she was elevated into new society – but without the accomplishments, dowry, and training she needs. Oh, poor Charlotte! I never realized! - Weaving of Time: Providing readers some added insight into Charlotte’s life and experiences, there are several important flashbacks shared throughout this tale. I loved how Molly Greeley took the time to illustrate these significant moments in Charlotte’s past. And I loved how these scenes fleshed out Charlotte’s story and brought even deeper understanding to her personality and actions. - Thoughtful and Reflective: This story is full of compelling introspection that helped create a sensitive and pensive tone which I quite loved. Throughout this story Charlotte grows in her perception and understanding of love and herself, and I greatly appreciated being privy to all her contemplations and self-analysis. - Relationships: I so admired how Molly Greeley depicted the relationships Charlotte has with others in this novel. Her choices were excellent – the humorous beginning to her friendship with young Elizabeth Bennet, the seemingly unbreachable distance between her and Mr. Collins, her cherished moments with her young daughter, and the surprising bond she feels with Mr. Travis. (Oh how I loved Mr. Travis and his father!!) WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF: I couldn’t possibly think of one single thing. CONCLUSION: Not only is The Clergyman’s Wife an exceptionally-crafted story that shines a spotlight on sensible and pragmatic Charlotte Collins, it is an understated, poignant, and earnest depiction of the limited choices women of this era faced and what happens when dreams are sacrificed and convictions begin to change. Congratulations to Molly Greeley, for her sensitive and exquisite debut!! Austenesque Reviews

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bree T

    When I read the description of this, I had to request it for review. I have read a lot of Austen-inspired work, adaptations, modern day depictions, and of course, books that deal with the same characters after Pride & Prejudice ends. I’ve read books about Darcy and Elizabeth, a book about Bingley and Jane, books about Mary Bennet and Georgiana Darcy as well. But I’ve never read a book about Charlotte Collins, nee Lucas and I thought that would be really, really interesting. Charlotte is of When I read the description of this, I had to request it for review. I have read a lot of Austen-inspired work, adaptations, modern day depictions, and of course, books that deal with the same characters after Pride & Prejudice ends. I’ve read books about Darcy and Elizabeth, a book about Bingley and Jane, books about Mary Bennet and Georgiana Darcy as well. But I’ve never read a book about Charlotte Collins, nee Lucas and I thought that would be really, really interesting. Charlotte is of course, Elizabeth’s best friend, a 27yo plain spinster from a family that has neither a lot of money nor strong connections. When Elizabeth refuses Mr Collins’ proposal, he goes to stay with the Lucas family after the humiliation. And just a short time later, Charlotte accepts his proposal. When Lizzy is horrified for her friend, Charlotte is tired of uncertainty and just wants a secure home, the respectability of being married. Mr Collins has a good living as the parson for Lady Catherine de Bourgh herself and of course, the unspoken thing is that one day, he will inherit Longbourne from his cousin Mr Bennet and Charlotte will be mistress of Lizzy’s family home. This was really, really enjoyable. It gives an unflinching glimpse into Charlotte’s married life to Mr Collins, an odious bore but at least one who means well and isn’t cruel or violent towards her. He’s just incredibly boring, incredibly stifling and obsequious to his most generous patron. Charlotte has a comfortable life, even if she’s not entirely confident in her role of that of wife to a clergyman. She has a young daughter that she dotes on, that Mr Collins mostly leaves her alone to parent and she can endure frequent dining at Rosings with Lady Catherine because Charlotte has always been the embodiment of demure grace and respectability. She knows precisely how to deal with the difficulties of her talkative husband and the snobby and demanding Lady Catherine. But that doesn’t meant that she doesn’t have a lot of inner frustration. Charlotte gets a glimpse of the sort of marriage she might have made, had she made another choice or met someone in a different way when she encounters Mr Travis, a farmer tenant of Lady Catherine’s, engaged to help plant and care for roses that Lady Catherine gets in her mind to install at the parsonage. Mr Travis is amiable and friendly and he and Charlotte share an early morning connection as she soothes her fractious, teething daughter. He is intelligent but not a gentleman, his hands are rough and often filthy in the way of a farmer. He’s more introspective than her husband and Charlotte perhaps is made aware through this connection (or even more aware) of the lack of emotional intimacy in her life. She’s quite far from her family, she has no friends in this new life and she and her husband share a cordial relationship but not one that is warm or affectionate. It’s merely duty and responsibility and Charlotte sees what it might have been like to perhaps share something more in a marriage – genuine love, affection and even sexual attraction. It was interesting seeing familiar characters through new eyes – Darcy and Elizabeth do visit Rosings in the book (I’m honestly not sure how likely that would’ve been to happen, given the last interaction of Lady Catherine and Elizabeth) and Charlotte provides an unflinching look at her friend and also her friend’s marriage. Charlotte wasn’t around for the actual development of Darcy and Elizabeth although she’s heard about it in letters. This is her first chance to observe them as a couple and it takes her a while to see through Darcy’s rather brusque manner but she comes to witness their emotional intimacy too. Elizabeth has the type of marriage she always desired (luckily her husband is also incredibly wealthy and Elizabeth never needs to worry about the future). This is one of the better books I’ve read that takes a character from a famous book and expands upon it. Charlotte’s internal monologue felt so honest and even though she’s not given to bouts of self pity and she knows exactly what the consequences are of the decision she made, you can feel her loneliness, her longing. Her examination of her life and the choices that led her to where she is isn’t self indulgent, more just…..stoic acceptance of the way her life has played out but in some ways, with a bit of fanciful dreaming of ‘what if’. Even though Charlotte was always portrayed as sensible and pragmatic, I suppose everyone is prone to some fanciful dreaming at some stage in their lives. I wasn’t sure how this was going to end – or how I wanted it to end, actually. It’s a much more complex time with more rigid marital and societal rules. It ended up feeling very realistic for me though. I think this was a wonderful read. It didn’t feel perfect for Austen’s time and place but it was close, written with empathy and compassion and a real sense of human emotion. ***A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of an honest review***

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This is a pleasant, enjoyable book, notable for its lovely writing and its consideration of the real financial challenges facing women in Jane Austen’s day, as well as by its empathy for its characters (especially, and perhaps surprisingly, Mr. Collins). In Molly Greeley’s hands Mr. Collins’s flaws are not softened – not in the least – but possible explanations are provided and he is made into a more human and nuanced character than he appears in Pride and Prejudice. Overall, it is a pleasure This is a pleasant, enjoyable book, notable for its lovely writing and its consideration of the real financial challenges facing women in Jane Austen’s day, as well as by its empathy for its characters (especially, and perhaps surprisingly, Mr. Collins). In Molly Greeley’s hands Mr. Collins’s flaws are not softened – not in the least – but possible explanations are provided and he is made into a more human and nuanced character than he appears in Pride and Prejudice. Overall, it is a pleasure throughout the book to behold the author demonstrating compassion for the characters without letting them off the hook for their moral choices. Frankly, I’m a sucker for anything Jane Austen. I’ll admit that much of my enjoyment of this book is due to that fact. Still, The Clergyman’s Wife is among the better selections of the Austen-world sub-genre. Clearly, the author is not all about profiting off a cash cow; she is, with wisdom and care, exploring questions that provide a richer understanding of both history and our own lives. My one nitpick is that, although the author mostly seems to take care to use period vocabulary, I was jolted out of the story by a couple of words which were coined decades after the story takes place. My guess is that most readers may not even notice, or care. In general, Greeley's writing is gently evocative, clear, and lyrical without going overboard. This book is not a six-course meal, it’s not a rich dessert, it’s not junk food, and it’s not wild game. It’s more like a very nice homemade fruit salad, tasty and light, wholesome and flavorful, and just substantial enough to make you feel pleasantly fed. In other words, I felt improved by the book without having to work hard. I’m glad I read it and I would read more from this author.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bruna (bruandthebooks)

    This book is a must read for Pride and Prejudice fans! It has the same atmosphere, it’s beautifully written and I really enjoyed that the author decided not focusing so much on the Bennet family. I’ve always liked Charlotte, she’s a good friend to Elizabeth and I enjoyed that the author focused the story on her. In Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte ends up marrying Mr. Collins, the awkward cousin that got rejected by Elizabeth Bennet. The story takes place a few years after Pride and Prejudice. This book is a must read for Pride and Prejudice fans! It has the same atmosphere, it’s beautifully written and I really enjoyed that the author decided not focusing so much on the Bennet family. I’ve always liked Charlotte, she’s a good friend to Elizabeth and I enjoyed that the author focused the story on her. In Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte ends up marrying Mr. Collins, the awkward cousin that got rejected by Elizabeth Bennet. The story takes place a few years after Pride and Prejudice. Charlotte and Mr. Collins had a daughter, they live a pretty good life and Charlotte kept her friendship with Elizabeth by sending letters telling each other how their lives were. Charlotte realizes how hollow her life is. She has a good marriage, yes. But does she feel passionate for her husband? Does he show enough affection for her? Besides, she often puts up with Mr. Collin’s patroness, the horrible Lady Catherine de Bourgh. She is a rancorous rich old woman who often criticizes Charlotte and Mr. Collins agrees with anything she says. Lady Catherine sends Mr. Tyler, a meritorious farmer to plant some roses at Charlotte’s garden. Mr. Tyler is a nice, polite man and every time Charlotte talks to him, he is courteous. For the first time, she feels like she’s not invisible and someone thinks she’s interesting and fun to talk to. But the story takes place in another century when it would be considered outrageous for women to be so close to a man who is not your husband. The story is more than I thought it would be. It’s about friendship and rethinking one’s happiness. I really liked reading about the beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice and the author did not disappoint me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carole (in Canada)

    "For a moment, I am held immobile by the weight of all the ways in which my life has changed." (quote from the book) This poignant debut novel by Molly Greeley is hauntingly beautiful. I always wondered what Charlotte's life would be like married to Mr. Collins. I believe this author has delved deep into Charlotte's character. With reverence and sensitivity, she has poured Charlotte's soul upon us. "Later, when I have time to reflect, I will perhaps wonder how it is possible to simultaneously "For a moment, I am held immobile by the weight of all the ways in which my life has changed." (quote from the book) This poignant debut novel by Molly Greeley is hauntingly beautiful. I always wondered what Charlotte's life would be like married to Mr. Collins. I believe this author has delved deep into Charlotte's character. With reverence and sensitivity, she has poured Charlotte's soul upon us. "Later, when I have time to reflect, I will perhaps wonder how it is possible to simultaneously want something so much and so little..." (quote from the book) There is such compassion and earthiness within these pages as we live Charlotte's life through her point of view. With a confining and unvarying society, tending to her home, Mr. Collins and the ever present Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Charlotte's emotions are held tightly in check. "I can feel anger curl around the back of my head, all the unacknowledged things between us suddenly large in my mind, but he keeps talking, as I clamp my teeth together, looking down at my plate." (quote from the book) Charlotte's quiet friendship with a tenant farmer, Mr. Travis, upends her ordered life. You wonder how she is going to deal with this and the life she has chosen. You feel her furtive thoughts and anxiousness. I think that is one of the special qualities of this book...it makes you feel. "When the quiet of my life threatens to deafen me, I go walking in the woods around Rosings." (quote from the book) I can highly recommend this beautifully written book for anyone wanting a glimpse into the life of a Regency woman who chose marriage for security over spinsterhood.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Flynn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Clergyman's Wife is a competent, composed and melancholy story of Charlotte Lucas's life after becoming Mrs. Collins. It struck me as owing less to Pride and Prejudice, more to The Yellow Wallpaper -- and maybe Lady Chatterley's Lover, if Lady Chatterley had decided that preserving her reputation was more important than banging the gamekeeper. Though in general I am not a huge fan of continuations of Austen novels, Charlotte is a character one does feel curious about. In marrying the solidly The Clergyman's Wife is a competent, composed and melancholy story of Charlotte Lucas's life after becoming Mrs. Collins. It struck me as owing less to Pride and Prejudice, more to The Yellow Wallpaper -- and maybe Lady Chatterley's Lover, if Lady Chatterley had decided that preserving her reputation was more important than banging the gamekeeper. Though in general I am not a huge fan of continuations of Austen novels, Charlotte is a character one does feel curious about. In marrying the solidly respectable but painfully annoying Mr. Collins, she made a decision that was probably one a lot of women had to make at a time when their options were so strictly limited. How did she deal with her choice? It's a great question. Mostly, she keeps busy with the housekeeping, dotes on her little daughter (and mourns her dead infant son) and finds a friend in a local farmer, then realizes her feelings are something more than friendly. I thought that the sexual longing she has for the farmer was depicted very convincingly even as he never came entirely alive for me on the page as a person. But maybe that was intentional -- that her attraction for him was chiefly sexual, even if this was a thing she could never admit to herself. I think Greeley does something well here that is kind of unusual, which is realistically portray the love of a mother for her children. Too often in fiction this is either sentimentalized to the point of sickly sweet, or else simply presented as a given. The account of giving birth to a boy who lived only briefly is harrowing -- effective, I mean, though devastating. I've never lost a child, or had one for that matter, but I was moved by this part.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katie Long

    This was so much better than I was expecting. I’ve read lots of Pride and Prejudice inspired novels and this is by far the best I’ve found. Greeley manages to give additional depth to these characters while maintaining the spirit in which Austen created them. A delightful way to start the year.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Ideiosepius

    This is a very nicely written, very light and enjoyable little historical novel. Nestled within the Jane Austin cast of characters it would still be very accessible (I believe) to people who have not read Austin. Charlotte Collins married Mr Collins because it was a sensible, prudent thing to do. She was never a romantic and was not troubled that she did not love Mr Collins, that his regard for her "must be imaginary" nor that she knew nothing of being a clergyman's wife. Three years after their This is a very nicely written, very light and enjoyable little historical novel. Nestled within the Jane Austin cast of characters it would still be very accessible (I believe) to people who have not read Austin. Charlotte Collins married Mr Collins because it was a sensible, prudent thing to do. She was never a romantic and was not troubled that she did not love Mr Collins, that his regard for her "must be imaginary" nor that she knew nothing of being a clergyman's wife. Three years after their marriage this novel begins; Charlotte has a little daughter she adores and a pragmatic approach to life but is more than a little lonely. One day Mr Travis comes to plant rose bushes in their garden at the behest of Lady Catherine and an immediate connection is felt between Mrs Collins and Mr Travis. Slowly they begin a tentative, charming, barely there, not-quite-friendship which is not-quite-proper. I really was charmed by the tone of the book, I love reading historical fiction and it is a pleasure to read one that has so obviously had a lot of thought a research into the period put into it. Many small daily references to the minutiae of life in the times are nicely inserted into the text in a very natural, very effective way. I was also delighted with how little happens. Sounds strange? But many historical novels fall down in putting too many large showy events into the narrative, what Austin herself would have dismissively condemned as 'Gothic' writing (and did in Northanger Abbey ). In The Clergyman's Wife, it feels like you are reading about real life and I thoroughly enjoyed that. Now there were one or two small things that jolted me out of the historical reading haze as they seemed to me out of character, a couple of words that felt a little modern, but they fit in with the story and did not bother me much at all. The tone of the writing was also very nice indeed. It will be familiar to any reader of Austin novels as many of the phrases, descriptions and words are sourced in this story. While many of the writing tactics (as well as the characters and the settings) are unabashedly inspired by Pride and Prejudice I still think that it would be accessible to people who did not read P&P because while the tone is similar the story is a lot simpler and more linear that P&P, with fewer side plots, no red herrings and fewer characters. Charlotte is the main character, Mr Travis, Mr Collins are secondary characters but there stories are only really applicable where they touch on Charlotte's life. There are a host of small characters that are relevant, but at the end of the day, the stage is Charlotte's. This is an excellent addition to the many good "Austin inspired" novels out there, I have a few favourites and this will join them. Incidentally, I expected it to be a love story - and it kind of is, but not really. There was a lot unexpected about this novel. Now, I expect a lot of people reading this will have, like myself read and re-read Pride and Prejudice, I have a few extra comments for them, about how the narrative and characters fit in with my ideas from the original. These comments are spoilers if you have read P&P, and are irrelevant and useless if you have not so ; (view spoiler)[ While I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, I did not feel that this Charlotte was the Charlotte of P&P at all. Sure, this is after three years of marriage to Mr Collins, which Eliza conceived of as 'a degradation', Charlotte will have changed a lot for sure. Nevertheless, I saw little of the practical, grounded and level headed Charlotte of the P&P novel. This Charlotte, while practical in her own way, was romantic, dreamy and not very hard headed at all. I saw no trace of the cynical and clear visioned woman who was considered sensible by the rather impossibly high standards of Mr Bennet. Also, the avid reader who was Eliza's best friend? The two were united in their observations of the idiosyncrasies of humanity and their follies, a perspective that is wholly lacking from this Charlotte. I loved the story of how Charlotte and the younger Eliza became friends, but I saw no trace of the woman who loved to read. Rather than reading, thinking about things she had read or applying any philosophies in her thought this Charlotte drifts around in her own head for most of the novel, she lacks the avid mind and cynical perspective of the Charlotte I had imagined. Despite this, I really enjoyed the character and did not object to the differences. I would LOVE to hear what other readers think of this Charlotte vs the Austin Charlotte! One thing that this author did better than Austin (yes, I know, don't anyone shoot me please) is how she rounded out the character of Mr Collins - I loved it! While in P&P Mr Collins is a reprehensible caricature of a character, with only hints as to how he became so, in this book the author makes him a believable, rounded character. She never makes him likable, as such, but he ceases to be a two dimensional person, I have full respect for how this has been done. There is even an attempt to make Lady Catherine human, really.... read it and see... (hide spoiler)] One more thing is that the cynicism toward humanity and social mores that can be so very cutting in Austin's writing is considerably softened in The Clergyman's Wife. The sardonic perspectives on human nature that are one reason, (in my opinion), that Austin has lasted so well through the decades, is absent. This novel is well written, it is nice, it is fun and historically satisfying. Anyone who enjoyed P&P and wants to read about what *may*have happened to the Collins family should enjoy it, anyone who likes contemporary' written historical fiction should like it to. I really liked it and the ending was satisfying, and unexpected. With thanks to Allen & Unwin for and advance reading copy in return for an honest opinion.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Barbara K.

    I just noticed that this is my first 5-star read of 2020. This is a Pride and Prejudice sequel, and while it isn't a conventional romance, it is romantic. It's a gentle, gradual story, and gives a lot of background about the main character, Charlotte Collins (nee Lucas), and her family. It explains why she decided to marry Mr. Collins, and it presents Mr. Collins as a somewhat unconscious, vacant, stupid, yet not unkind, only sort of oblivious person. He doesn't seem to notice or appreciate I just noticed that this is my first 5-star read of 2020. This is a Pride and Prejudice sequel, and while it isn't a conventional romance, it is romantic. It's a gentle, gradual story, and gives a lot of background about the main character, Charlotte Collins (nee Lucas), and her family. It explains why she decided to marry Mr. Collins, and it presents Mr. Collins as a somewhat unconscious, vacant, stupid, yet not unkind, only sort of oblivious person. He doesn't seem to notice or appreciate anyone in the world other than his patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and he seems sadly inadequate as a parson. The time is some three or so years after their marriage. Charlotte has a baby daughter, Louisa, and the story begins with Lady Catherine deciding that the Hunsford Parsonage needs a rose garden. She orders the roses, and requests that one of her tenant farmers, Mr. Travis, plant them and instruct Mr. Collins in their care. One morning Charlotte is out early, walking with Louisa, who is teething, when she comes across Mr. Travis, and they speak. If I recall correctly, this is the first time they've met, except perhaps at church. On succeeding meetings they come to know one another a little, first as mere acquaintances, the tenant farmer and the parson's wife greeting one another politely. She decides she should visit his father, the elderly former gardener for Rosings, and the old man is so delighted with little Louisa that he insists Charlotte bring her to see him again, so she begins visiting the farmhouse, and this increases the number of encounters with the younger Mr. Travis. Well, one can see where this might be leading. This is not a terrifically angst-filled story, though there is longing, and loneliness, and a kind of hopeless blossoming romance. The story is so beautifully rendered that it all reads like a pastoral prose poem, and I found it quite touching and enjoyable. Highly recommended. Nitpicky Stuff: There were only a couple of little problems I had with the story. Once, little Louisa was running around the garden and plucked a sprig of foxglove, and her mother let her run away with it. Foxglove is digitalis, toxic, and if Charlotte had spent her childhood drawing pictures from an old herbal, or even had a mother with a garden and stillroom (she did, according to the story), she should have known this, and gotten that foxglove away from her toddler as quickly as possible. The other thing was the mention of preserving beans, cauliflower, and cabbage in jars. Maybe they would have pickled these things, but the story didn't go into detail about that, so I'll assume Charlotte knew what she was doing. Preserving food was still iffy back then. Nicolas Appert didn't develop his glass container preservation method until 1810, in France (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas...), and Louis Pasteur's work later made it much safer. All those items mentioned in the story are low-acid foods and would at that time have had to be pickled first. The beans would likely have been dried instead. Housewives did not at that time simply pack food into mason jars and pressure cook it the way is done today. Home canning developed more during the late 19th and early 20th century. But again, nitpicky stuff! Bonus links: Fermentation of foods: https://www.thekitchn.com/breakthroug... Canning of foods: https://www.thekitchn.com/breakthroug...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kirk

    Bittersweet!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Talia

    Hopeless. Dreary.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julia M

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. IF ONLY. IF ONLY. IF ONLY. This story is really heartbreaking. Charlotte chose her lot in life with her eyes wide open. But of course it is one thing to think she know prudence and then another thing is actually experience the consequences of her prudent choices. I am sorry to say that I actually was hoping for Mr. Collins' death so Charlotte would be able to marry for love and would not have to leave Kent.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Davison

    I would like to thank Edelwiess and William Morrow Paperbacks for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. This book is as quiet as Charlotte, but it's also as brave as she is. It picks up three years after Charlotte marries Mr Collins and shows how life has changed for her. The love story is so sweet and cleverly done. I loved the fact that Lizzie turns up and that her and Charlotte's friendship is repaired. I also enjoyed the flashbacks and seeing Charlotte's pov to some of the I would like to thank Edelwiess and William Morrow Paperbacks for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. This book is as quiet as Charlotte, but it's also as brave as she is. It picks up three years after Charlotte marries Mr Collins and shows how life has changed for her. The love story is so sweet and cleverly done. I loved the fact that Lizzie turns up and that her and Charlotte's friendship is repaired. I also enjoyed the flashbacks and seeing Charlotte's pov to some of the events in P&P.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Read this book and discover that Charlotte Lucas is the true heroine of Pride and Prejudice. I spent the past 12 hours absorbed in the quiet desperation and resignation of Mrs. Collins and the aftermath of the choice she made, and I really didn't want it to end. Charlotte Lucas has always gotten the short shift in fandom and scholarship and I'm so glad she finally gets a chance to tell her story. "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance" indeed!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    What a lovely read by Ms. Greeley. Thank you to William Morrow books as I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway. My review is left voluntarily and all opinions are my own. I adored Charlotte and found her character so relatable. In a time when women obeyed their husbands and upheld their societal roles, Charlotte was the wife of the local vicar. She escaped the life of becoming a spinster by choosing this life - even though she yearns for more. Mr. Collins is an awkward husband and Charlotte is often What a lovely read by Ms. Greeley. Thank you to William Morrow books as I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway. My review is left voluntarily and all opinions are my own. I adored Charlotte and found her character so relatable. In a time when women obeyed their husbands and upheld their societal roles, Charlotte was the wife of the local vicar. She escaped the life of becoming a spinster by choosing this life - even though she yearns for more. Mr. Collins is an awkward husband and Charlotte is often embarrassed by his actions and words. Charlotte soon meets Mr. Travis, a local farmer, and an unlikely friendship begins to blossom. She finds herself finding excuses to visit and begins to understand what being heard, valued and how such things can have such an affect on the heart and your emotions. It was really heartbreaking as you really felt for Charlotte and Mr. Travis. Both obviously felt for each other; however, they could never act on their emotions. Charlotte resigns herself to the role of vicars wife and I think she takes the emotions she feels with her, knowing that there IS more out there - I think just the notion comforts her and helps her through the monotony of her life. A beautiful read - I thoroughly enjoyed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    The writing in The Clergyman's Wife was so well done that I found myself completely absorbed in the era and characters of the story. I loved reading Charlotte's inner thoughts and finding what happened after she married Mr. Collins. I wish though, that the story had more of an arc. It ended as it began, a quiet tale of Austen's smaller characters. Lovely to read, but not quite fully satisfying. I would happily read A Clergyman's Daughter/Son if it ever came to be.

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