Charlotte has finally been given her due! She is no longer the less interesting and attractive sidekick of Lizzie Bennett but a flesh and blood woman with a personality,
opinions, and desires of her own.
With the piquancy of Jane Austen’s Emma but of a more reserved disposition (let us not go too far!) the portrait Aminadra paints of her Charlotte is so spirited, vibrant, and witty, it makes this reader wonder how she ever perceived her as plain.
Though still tolerant and gentle (she has put up with Mr. Collins’s over-fawning and sycophantic devotion to Lady Catherine on a regular basis with complaint) Charlotte proves her resourcefulness by laying out the facts and allowing her husband to sort them out on his own. With her nearly imperceptible guidance, he begins to see the flaws of his patroness, value his wife’s assets, and become less pompous and more likeable in the bargain. And although I did not come to LOVE Mr. Collins, I at least began to understand him and make allowances for his previous behavior.
Aminadra has fashioned a delightful tale that admirably matches the style, language, and dispositions of the characters first introduced to us in Pride and Prejudice. The setting is consistent, the storyline compelling and a logical furtherance of the original, certainly strong enough to overcome any technical flaws. Jane Austen would be tickled to have inspired such a sweet tribute to her timeless classic!