This is a variation on Pride and Prejudice in two books – the first explores a less happy outcome, which Elizabeth dreams prior to Darcy’s proposal at Hunsford, and the second book looks at what could have happened if she’d prudently accepted his proposal and so doesn’t give him the vehement response that changed his behaviour.
To make sense of this book I think it’s important to appreciate something of the state of affairs in the Bennet finances – Mr Bennet’s estate was entailed on Mr Collins. In the event of his death pretty much everything Mr Bennet owned would revert to Collins, and he could evict the Bennet ladies. Mrs Bennet would have a minuscule income and would probably have to rely on family such as the Gardiners and the Phillips family to support her and her daughters. The girls could potentially find genteel work but their options were very limited. Jane, Elizabeth and possibly Mary could perhaps have found jobs as governesses, but the younger girls had a poorer education. Ladies could become a paid companion (such as Mrs Jenkins, Anne de Bourgh’s companion) but I think these tended to be widows rather than maidens.
The only way to secure the future of the family after Mr Bennet’s death is for his daughters to…
Read the full review at Babblings of a Bookworm : Consequences by C P Odom.