England, 1813 Nineteen-year-old Catherine Bennet lives in the shadow of her two eldest sisters, Elizabeth and Jane, who have both made excellent marriages. No one expects Kitty to amount to anything. Left at home in rural Hertfordshire with her neurotic and nagging mother, and a father who derides her as silly and ignorant, Kitty is lonely, diffident and at a loss as to how to improve her situation. When her world unexpectedly expands to London and the Darcys’ magnificent country estate in Derbyshire, she is overjoyed. Keen to impress this new society, and to change her family’s prejudice, Kitty does everything she can to improve her mind and manners and for the first time feels liked and respected. However, one fateful night at Pemberley, a series of events and misunderstandings conspire to ruin Kitty’s reputation. But Kitty has learnt from her new experiences and what she does next does next will not only surprise herself, but everyone else too.
Based on Jane Austen’s much-loved characters, this is the story of one young woman’s struggle to overcome the obstacles of her time and place and truly find herself.
What I Thought:
I am happy to be a total cliche and tell you that one of my favourite books is Pride and Prejudice. As such I delight in reading retellings of and follow-ups to Jane Austen’s original novel – What Kitty Did Next is a brilliant example.
Most of the these type of books seem to focus on the more prominent Bennet sisters, while poor Mary and Kitty get cast adrift. Carrie Kablean sets this right by turning the spotlight onto Kitty as she emerges from Lydia Bennet’s shadow and influence. Invited to spend more time in the Bingley and Darcy households, Kitty fully embraces the opportunities that gives and begins to make friends with Georgiana Darcy – who is presented as a much more fully-formed character in this novel.
Carrie Kablean’s style is very much her own and, while the characters we all recognise from Pride and Prejudice are here, there are some fantastic new ones introduced – some of whom are worthy acquaintances of the Darcys and some who are downright rogues. All of these characters blend seemlessly, with settings such the balls and assemblies we’re familiar with.
It’s clear that the author is a fellow lover of Pride and Prejudice, as it comes through in the care she shows poor Kitty and the rest of the Bennet family and, although tragedy strikes the family, the whole section is written with sensitivity and true affection.
Reading the further adventures of Kitty and seeing how she begins to mature and develop is a real delight and any fan of Jane Austen’s work will love this continuation of Kitty’s story – definitely recommended!
This post is part of the a blog tour for What Kitty Did Next, and there is lots of other great content on the blogs below, please do check them out if you can.
Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes. All other opinions are, as ever, my own.