J. W. Garrett's Reviews > Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Charlotte Collins by Jennifer Becton
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bookshelves: 2017, jaff-pride-and-prejudice, era-regency-1811-1820

“Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.” William Shakespeare

Poor Charlotte, married a fool and then he died on her.

“Never, ladies, marry a fool. Any husband rather than a fool. With some other husband, you may be unhappy, but with a fool you will be miserable.” Daniel Defoe

Thank goodness, Charlotte requested/demanded a jointure in her marriage settlements, otherwise she wouldn’t have an income. She was always smart like that. She was renting a cottage on the edge of Rosings Park and Maria had come to stay with her for a season as their parents were too elderly to chaperone Maria to all the activities a young girl would need to attend as she looked for a husband.

Maria, lawd, that girl, had all the wisdom of a door stop and even then, she couldn’t see where she offended and embarrassed herself, her friends, her sister, the neighbors, the beau standing with her as she was making eyes at another man. Yeah, not the brightest bulb in the box. Plus, she simply did not understand what happened that caused everyone to shun her. I mean… yeah, she refused a marriage proposal, but she was, after all, in love with someone else… I mean really, what could the girl do? Clueless had a new name, and that name was Maria Lucas.

Maria set her cap for a visiting American and refused the hand of a perfectly amiable gentleman. He told the gossips of her refusal and she was fodder for the mill and subsequently shunned by her friends and neighbors. Yeah, it was bad. Charlotte decided to visit relations in London in order to get her out of town in hopes that the gossip would in time settle.

This was a very confusing story. I couldn’t get a handle on it because there seemed to be an attempt to parallel P&P. You had the good guy type, then a Wickham type, and you had to figure out which was the bad guy and wonder if he would attempt to ruin a reputation. I began to see that it was similar to the P&P story line only with different names. I slowly began to grasp what was going on. You had one guy who had the appearance of good, but was evil… and… the other… yada, yada.

“Your reputation is in the hands of others. That’s what the reputation is. You can’t control that. The only thing you can control is your character.” Wayne W. Dyer

So, we had blackmail, an elopement to Gretna Green, gossip, scandal, dashed hopes, ruined dreams, and social outcast. First Maria was shunned and then Charlotte was ruined by a cad. Good grief, society was one fickle creature waiting for the next tidbit of gossip and willing to believe a lie before the truth. I think the story fell apart here. It just died… like the author couldn’t decide how to end it. Was the character of Charlotte so bland that there wasn’t anything to write about? Some secondary or even tertiary characters are hard to make interesting.

After following one thread, the story meandered along and then just seemed to stop. Then, we followed another thread and it didn’t end until the epilogue. It felt disjointed and jerky. The transitions were not fluid and smooth. The evolution of the story became muddy as the story lines [between the sisters] became entangled and knotted. I don’t know how else to describe it. It could have been developed better. It seemed like two stories jammed together. And then I find out there is another short story titled ‘Maria Lucas’ that goes along with this one. I don’t think the story for Charlotte did her justice. I think Maria overpowered her sister’s story.

It was a clean, quick read… just lacking.
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Reading Progress

December 26, 2016 – Shelved
December 26, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
March 25, 2017 – Started Reading
March 25, 2017 – 0.0% "I am trying to clean out my TBR pile. There are several of these Becton books. Caroline Bingley, Charlotte Collins, and Mary Bennet. There is another one on Maria Lucas; however, I am not sure this tertiary character in enticing enough to tempt me. I wanted to start with Caroline, but I decided since Charlotte married first, I should start with her."
March 25, 2017 –
21.0% "We open with the death of Mr. Collins and Charlotte's thoughts on the matter. We then fast forward to her coming out of mourning and having to chaperone her sister Maria. Maria is not quite Lydia, but at times, I see mannerisms that lean toward Lydia's influence. Charlotte is trying to rein her sister's behavior while allowing her to enjoy a season. There are several new men characters... Oh dear."
March 26, 2017 –
34.0% "Maria, what have you done? You silly selfish self-centered brat. Her behavior is so Lydia that I simply want to shake her. She has no clue and doesn't understand why people are starting to shun her. She isn't the brightest bulb in the box. Charlotte suggested they visit relatives in London in order to get Maria out of town and let the gossip die down. Young love, if it doesn't kill you... whatever."
March 26, 2017 –
44.0% "I want to shake Maria... I think I've already said that. I couldn't take it and looked ahead at the novella/short story following this about Maria and I see who she winds up with. She has botched this story royally. I am taking a break and reading something else for a while. I am tired of her. I'll come back to it shortly. Signing off for a couple of days."
March 26, 2017 –
75.0% "OK, I lied. Those that know I'm OCD laughed when I said I'd put this off. OK, I am the point where I am really confused as to whether this is a Charlotte or a Maria story as both are featured pretty heavily. A male character has attempted to ruin the reputation of Charlotte and Lady C asked her to move out without letting her explain. Dang! Why doesn't Charlotte contact Elizabeth???"
March 26, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017
March 26, 2017 – Finished Reading
May 22, 2018 – Shelved as: jaff-pride-and-prejudice
July 23, 2018 – Shelved as: era-regency-1811-1820

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