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The Clergyman's Wife

The Clergyman's Wife 1

by Molly Greeley
Publication Date: 03/12/2019
5/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $29.99 $24.25

A moving story of unexpected love featuring Charlotte from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. 'Poignant, pensive and brilliant...' Laurel Ann Nattress, editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It.

In this Pride and Prejudice-inspired novel, not everyone has the luxury of waiting for love. Charlotte Collins knows this well...

Charlotte Collins, nee Lucas, is the respectable wife of Hunsford's vicar, and sees to her duties by rote: keeping house, caring for their adorable daughter, visiting parishioners and patiently tolerating the lectures of her awkward husband and his condescending patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

Intelligent, pragmatic and anxious to escape the shame of spinsterhood, Charlotte chose this life: an inevitable one so socially acceptable that its quietness threatens to overwhelm her. Then she makes the acquaintance of Mr Travis, a local farmer and tenant of Lady Catherine.

In Mr Travis' company, Charlotte feels appreciated, heard and seen. For the first time in her life Charlotte begins to understand emotional intimacy and its effect on the heart-and how breakable that heart can be. With her sensible nature confronted and her own future about to take a turn, Charlotte must now question the role of love and passion in a woman's life, and whether they truly matter for a clergyman's wife.

Contemporary fiction
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Molly Greeley

Molly Greeley earned her bachelor's degree in English, with a creative writing emphasis, from Michigan State University, where she was the recipient of the Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts for Creative Writing. Her short stories and essays have been published in Cicada, Carve, and Literary Mama. She works on social media for a local business, is married and the mother of three children but her Sunday afternoons are devoted to weaving stories into books.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • a wonderfully moving debut novel

    by on

    “He was not an attractive young man; he was heavy of cheek and jowl, with slightly irregular features and thinning hair, and his manners were so awkward that it was hard, at times, to keep my countenance as he veered from unaccountable pomposity to slavish compliments.”

    The Clergyman’s Wife is the first novel by American author, Molly Greeley. After her friend Lizzie Bennet rejected Mr Collins, twenty-seven-year-old Charlotte Lucas made sure to put herself in his path “when his pride was hurt and he was especially vulnerable to flattery” because she realised that she was (as Lady Catherine de Bourgh later put it) “neither too lively nor too handsome.” Being the clergyman’s wife would secure her future without dependence on the goodwill of her brothers.

    Now, three years later, as wife of William and mother of baby Louisa, she began to understand what it is to be married to the man who fervently fawns at Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s every utterance. She had believed that enduring his company for the sake of security was something she could manage. But now his imperious patroness insists on a rose garden at the parsonage, and sends one of her tenant farmers to install it.

    The farmer is neither handsome nor educated but, through her incidental interactions with Robby Travis, Charlotte discovers a man who is courteous, interested and has a sense of humour that is noticeably absent in her good husband. Aware that she does not share her whole self with William, she begins to wonder if perhaps he does not give himself fully either. “Perhaps we are both caught in this elaborate pantomime.” But with Mr Travis, it is as if he sees into her soul. Charlotte Collins, however, is a married woman...

    Greeley easily evokes the world that Jane Austen’s characters inhabit, and her portrayal of characters we already know from Pride and Prejudice is very much in keeping with the way Austen wrote them. The events that punctuate their lives and the way they react to them is entirely plausible. This is a wonderfully moving debut novel that is bound to have readers choking up and reaching for the tissues in the final chapters.
    This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Allen & Unwin.