Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Clergyman’s Wife by Molly Greeley

Charlotte Lucas made a prudent decision when she accepted the Reverend Mr. William Collins’s proposal of marriage.  She knows her best friend Elizabeth Bennet does not approve, but having security and a life of her own is worth not marrying for love.

Now a young wife and mother of a young daughter, Louisa, Charlotte meets Mr. Travis, a local farmer who Lady Catherine de Bourgh has asked to plant roses at the parsonage.  As their friendship develops over time, Charlotte begins to wonder, was she wrong to give up on love?

The Clergyman’s Wife was told in first person from Charlotte’s point of view.  I thought it was a powerful story of one woman’s seemingly simple life as she learns to be a wife, mother, and pastor’s wife.  She starts to question her feelings.  Is she a good wife?  What would it be like to have a partner that she could actually talk to as an equal, respect, and admire? 

I thought it was an interesting look at the life as a clergyman’s wife in Regency England.  Molly Greely brought Austen’s characters to life and gave Charlotte a depth that is not found in the original novel.  I like how Charlotte explored what is really meant by beauty and how limited a woman’s prospects could be in Regency England.  Background was given on how her family rose in society and it provided a very interesting depth to why Charlotte made the decisions that she had made. I enjoyed it greatly and read it quickly.  I wish there was a sequel to this novel, I want to see what is next for Charlotte.

Favorite Quotes:
“In my own home, and at Rosings Park, I often feel diminished.  Out here, thought I also feel small, it is in the best sense of the word.  I am part of the world here, humbled and expanded all at once.”

“Beware men’s vanity, Charlotte, it often leads them to stupidity.”

“Beauty comes in many forms.”

Overall, The Clergyman’s Wife is a delightful Regency novel that tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet’s best friend Charlotte Lucas, and her “coming of age” as a wife, mother, and pastor’s wife.

Book Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow as part of the blog tour.  Thank-you!

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