Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
With three Bennet daughters marrying for love at the close of Pride and Prejudice, the two remaining unmarried daughters (Mary and Kitty) have always aroused curiosity and speculation. What kind of futures are in store for these ladies? Do they find their own happiness? Do they marry for love? Many writers have been inspired to pick up their pens and compose tales that flesh out these characters and continue their lives beyond what Jane Austen wrote. While there are dozens of stories that spotlight Mary Bennet, there are decidedly less that feature Kitty Bennet, who is famous for her coughing and for mindlessly being under Lydia’s influence. In Carrie Kablean’s debut novel she shines a spotlight on Kitty and reveals the events of Kitty’s life the year after her sisters marry.
Overlooked, undistinguished, and seemingly foolish – Kitty Bennet does not seem to be the type of heroine to attract interest or admiration. But her life undergoes some dramatic changes when she is removed from Lydia’s influence and invited to visit her happily married sisters. Spending time with Jane and Mr. Bingley in London society opens Kitty’s eyes to many things – she discovers the joys and entertainments of traveling, revives her interest in music, and learns much by observing the social interactions of those around her. And when Kitty is invited to spend some months in Pemberley as the close friend of Georgiana Darcy, Kitty evolves even more. She learns some startling revelations about her sisters and their marriages, develops a more intimate friendship with Georgiana Darcy, and provides much assistance to Elizabeth during her first grand social event. But sadly, things to take a very unexpected and horrible turn at this grand social event, and Kitty finds herself accused, criticized, and disgraced…
I absolutely adored this story about Kitty! I loved her gradual transformation. She becomes so much more than the “silly and ignorant” daughter her father supposes her to be. I loved how Carrie Kablean fleshes out her character and shows the ways Kitty becomes her own individual and forms her own thoughts and dreams. She truly has spent life in Lydia’s shadows. And because she was part of such a big family (and was not the favorite child of either parent), her experiences, opportunities, and education were limited. Now she has the chance to pursue some of her interests and take advantage of some new opportunities. It was such a rewarding experience to witness Kitty grow into a sensible, well-informed, and admirable heroine.
In addition, I greatly enjoyed seeing Kitty interact with those around her. I was so pleased to see her relationship with Jane, Elizabeth, Georgiana, and especially Mr. Bingley blossom (I really enjoyed the shared interests between Kitty and Mr. Bingley!) And there are several new acquaintances and some possible suitors that were delightfully well-drawn and great additions to Kitty’s social circle. I adored both Sir Edward Quincy and Henry Adams. Lastly, I enjoyed seeing a most gratifying and pleasing relationship develop between Kitty and one of her parents. With all that happened to Kitty in the latter half of the novel, it was heartwarming to see this new understanding develop and mutual regard grow.
My only wish for this well-crafted and reverent sequel would be for perhaps a little more romance and slower pacing towards the end. While this story does set a more leisurely pace at the beginning, the latter half of the story picks up and is very eventful. I loved the romance that developed, but I do wish there was a teensy bit more to it.
Despite that minor quibble, I found myself enchanted and enthralled by Carrie Kablean’s What Kitty Did Next. I applaud Ms. Kablean for her eloquent and descriptive prose and thoughtful renderings of Jane Austen’s characters. I cannot help but wonder what she will do next… 😉 Hopefully a story about Georgiana *fingers crossed*
Carrie Kablean is so kindly offering a giveaway in conjunction with my review!! She is offering ONE copy of What Kitty Did Next (winner’s choice paperback or ebook) for me to give away to ONE lucky winner!!
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about my review!!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Carrie!
- This giveaway ends March 30th!