What Kitty Did Next

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

I didn't know that I needed Kitty Bennet's story until I read it but it turns out that I did. I would recommend this to any Austen fans that who need the comfort that returning to Pemberley can provide. It feels very true to the characters and world that Jane Austen created.
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I liked the premise of the novel. Kitty is often forgotten and hardly ever given her own story in the Jane Austen sequels. I did not really like Kitty in this novel. She is vain and flighty. I did not think she grew and matured. I also thought it was very slow and a thin plot line. Still, I recommend this for anyone who loved reading everything Jane Austen!
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We were very pleased when a novel inspired by Jane Austen’s fourth daughter in Pride and Prejudice crossed our path. What Kitty Did Next is a continuation, as such, of one of the five Bennet sisters after the close of the classic novel, whose heroine Elizabeth receives most of the praise from her father and a marriage to Mr. Darcy of Pembeley in the end. Her younger sister Catherine on the other hand, or Kitty as she is called by her family, only earns put-downs and threats from her father after her involvement in her younger sister Lydia’s infamous elopement with Mr. Wickham. Accused of being silly and ignorant, what could Kitty do to regain her family’s trust, raise her self-esteem and make herself marriageable? From the title of the book, my expectations were high. How would Kablean turn the floundering duckling of Longbourn into a swan?

Much of the anticipation for the reader is generated by Kitty’s past behavior in Pride and Prejudice. For those who have not read the original, Kablean gives us ample background and character backstory.

Kitty, meanwhile, was just Kitty. A docile child, she had trailed after her adored eldest sisters but they, like many older siblings, had not delighted in her presence and had sent her off to play with the younger ones. Only sickness and prolonged periods of enforced rest had brought Jane, and occasionally Elizabeth, to her bedside, and when she had fully recovered her health Lydia had so far inserted herself as her mother’s favourite that it had seemed obvious that she should follow in her younger sister’s wake and share all the delights and comforts bestowed upon her. Neither commanding nor being the centre of attention, Kitty had become more adept at observing than doing and, until the events of the previous year, had not questioned this order of things. Chapter 6

Our sympathies run deep for Kitty. With three of her sisters married, she is stuck at the family home with sister Mary (no fun) her prattling mother (harpy) and a negligent father who has placed her on a very short leash in reaction to the bad conduct of a younger sister who is now out of harms way living in Newcastle. With no balls to attend or officers to flirt with life is a bore until sister Jane invites her to dine at Netherfield Park. After meeting Sir Edward Quincy, a very old gentleman (of at least forty-five) she wonders if his decided attentions to her could become her fate? A wealthy widow is a very eligible prospect that her family would approve of. Yet, what does she have to offer him beyond youth? Her sister Jane sees her dilemma and invites her to join herself and her husband Charles at their London townhouse on Brook street.

How thin is the line between happiness and despair! Yesterday, all had been bleak and monotonous; today, every bright prospect was open to her. Chapter 9

So, off to London Kitty goes – a town of diversions and prospects aplenty. Or one would hope. There, she meets Mr. Darcy’s younger sister Miss Georgiana who encourages Kitty to renew her love of music, is taught by Mr. Henry Adams a dishy young music master, is introduced to Sir Quincy’s eligible nephews Mr. Frederick Fanshawe and Mr. William Fanshawe, who are his heirs, attends music soirees, art galleries and museums, shops for frocks, and generally does all the things that fashionable young ladies do while in Town. Life is good for Kitty, yet after reading Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women she craves more and begins a diary of her time in London.

Usually, at this point in a novel, there is a crisis or a challenging event for the heroine. In Pride and Prejudice it occurs about a third of the way in the narrative after the tumultuous failed first proposal by Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth resulting in anger, anxiety and exasperation for both parties. His “be not alarmed, madame.” letter to Elizabeth is an epiphany for her. Before that moment she never knew herself and is touched and humbled by his response. This important character arc does not happen in What Kitty Did Next for hundreds of pages, which leaves readers wondering where the storyline is going. There is activity. Kitty is improving herself, slowly, and we do learn more about the Fanshawes and sense that something is amiss there. Coupled with the author’s choice to use pages of telling the story and not showing, I found myself growing as impatient and restless as the heroine. When the action finally moves to Pemberley and Lydia Wickham crashes the summer ball, things finally come to a point of true crisis for our heroine. Her reputation is tarnished and she is sent home to Longbourn in disgrace.

What she did next, I will leave for the reader to discover. The first half of the novel was very gently paced. Be patient. Like our heroine Miss Kitty Bennet, debut novelist Carrie Kablean was learning and improving with every chapter. The final third of the book was pure vindication. Kitty became accomplished, worthy of our attention and praise, and so did the author.

4 out of 5 Regency Stars

What Kitty Did Next, by Carrie Kablean
RedDoor Publishing (2018)
Paperback (416) pages
ISBN: 978-1910453612

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(DNF) Plot not moving fast enough for my taste, I got bored with all the socializing and benign activities Kitty Bennett did to land a husband.

PS Apologies for the late feedback, life's been busy and I'm just finding the time transcribing my reviews here.
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What a delightful Story! Written in a similar light touch with real wit and warmth, this Story flows on nicely from Pride and Prejudice. The characters are nicely developed, the plot is not just a reinvention of the original Story, and there are some surprises in there. Kitty becomes a woman instead of 'just a silly girl', and what a lovely character she becomes. I was sad when it ended as I could have kept reading more!
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This was a fun read and an interesting take on what happens after P&P. I recently read "Mary B: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice" and felt that the author's character development post-P&P was more controversial. While I liked the creativity, some of the change in the characters was hard for a P&P lover to stomach. However, Carrie Kablean's character development is more on par with what P&P lovers want to see. It was fun to see how the characters could change but also keep in line with how they were originally written. However, I did not love the author's writing style, which is why I only gave this book 3 stars. The story is told from Kitty's perspective as the narrator; however, Kablean clearly wanted the audience to understand what some of the other characters were thinking, so that was inserted as well. It made the flow of the story disjointed. I didn't care for it, but overall it was a fun read for this P&P fan.
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It is a truth universally expected that once three Bennet sisters achieved matrimony, Mrs. Bennet would turn her attention to the matrimonial prospects of the remaining two. In this Pride and Prejudice continuation, the author explores the life of the fourth Bennet sister, Kitty. Now freed from Lydia's orbit, what will silly and insipid Kitty make of herself? What will she do next?

The answer is: quite a lot. Tired of being thought vain and vapid, Kitty seeks to improve her mind through reading and to sharpen her skills in singing and the pianoforte. She visits London with Jane and Mr. Bingley, making the acquaintance of a handsome music master, a courteous older gentlemen, and a friendly second-born nobleman. A deep friendship grows between Kitty and Georgiana Darcy, and Kitty is invited back to Pemberly for the summer. 

Meanwhile, Lizzy plans a midsummer's ball, determined not to let Darcy down as she learns to play the grand hostess. But when Lydia decides to attend without invitation, both Kitty and Lizzy must work hard to avoid social disaster. Kitty finds herself caught in the middle of a hurtful contretemps, the victim of misunderstandings and accusations. Is she destined to be the least regarded Bennet sister, or can she rise above her past follies and current situation?

This book was one of the more delightful Austen continuations that I have read. I sincerely sympathized with Kitty, and her character came alive in these pages. One thing I appreciated is that the author did not try to denigrate the other Bennets, whose worthiness Austen has already shown, in order to make Kitty shine. Kitty's longing for approval from her father is poignantly portrayed, as is her longing to emulate the good that she sees. A few parts of this novel were a little slow, but overall, this was an enjoyable read with an unexpectedly delightful heroine who has now come into her own.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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There has been very few Pride and Prejudice sequels that focus on the three younger Bennett sisters, so I was thrilled to be reading one from Catherine's "Kitty" point of view.

Kitty's story takes us from Hertfordshire to London, in a wonderful story that the author had masterfully crafted and is a joy to read for any Austen fan.
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If you've ever wondered whatever happened to Kitty Bennett from Pride & Predjudice, read What Kitty Did Next. I really enjoyed this fresh take on the Bennett sisters. Highly recommend!

Many thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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After taking about a month to get a quarter of a way through this, I think it is time for me to call it quits. I gave up on Pride and Prejudice spinoffs awhile ago partly because there was so many being produced and also because they all pale in comparison to the original masterpiece. I LOVE P&P. It was my first Jane Austen, and I have read it many, many times. I am uber critical of books that take the beloved characters and try to create a new story with this. I get annoyed with tone, dialogue, story and characterization in some form or another. This was no different. It was no better or worse. It may be an enjoyable story to the less critical.

I was initially drawn in by the fact that it was about the most overlooked character, Kitty. It takes her and makes into a free-thinking feminist. I did not buy into her transition into being a Wollstonecraft reader or an appreciater of fine music and learning to play. I may have been able to buy-in if it was sold appropriately, but it wasn’t here for me.

*I received an ARC of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Carrie Kablean for allowing me to read and review What Kitty Did Next. This book is adorable and was a great addition to my much-loved collection of novels about the Bennet sisters. I will be purchasing this novel to add to my book shelf.
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I adored this great book – thanks to NetGalley for sending me a copy – and I speak of someone who has been a huge fan of JA since schooldays.

I liked that Kitty (an insipid character in the original) grows and changes; that the ending is not predictable (I wasn’t at all sure which young man would step up to the plate– unlike say, in a Georgette Heyer); that the language gives a sense of the times without any ‘prithee sir’s; that we get to find out what happens to the other characters; that there’s a proto-Dickens frost fair; that we lose a major character and it feels true; that the author echoes the shame and embarrassment that, when you think about it, are a running theme of JA’s oeuvre; that there are contemporary references to the prevailing milieu, such as to Mary Wollstonecraft, sundry composers and landscape gardeners, without it seeming forced….

In fact, I’d love to know what Kitty does next!!!
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I received an advanced ecopy of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

I'm not a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice, even though as a former English major, I'm not sure I'm allowed to say that. So a book written as a sequel to it, written in Austen's style, is never going to be a favorite of mine. However, if you like Pride and Prejudice, and want to read more about the escapades of the Bennet sisters, this is a good book for you. Kablean does a good job with the writing style, and the subtle humor of dialogue and situations. The plot is a natural follow on to Pride and Prejudice. It is not fast paced; it took over half the book for us to reach the evening of Kitty's fateful actions. I would have liked to just get to the point a little sooner. I realize Kablean is trying to set up a transformation of Kitty's behavior, but it sure took a long time to do that. The resolution is neat and tidy, as expected, but also with one or two little surprises. The fleshing out of the characters was clever, both major and minor. I felt like I learned more about each of them, and since it has been a long time since I read Pride and Prejudice, it was fun to be reminded of each of their individual personalities. 

If I was rating this for myself, I would give it three stars. Rating it for others, it is four stars, because for what she is trying to do, it is well done. Just not my style.
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I'm not that familiar with the Pride and Prejudice characters. I have seen the movie and I've read the book a long long time ago. But to read about a lesser known character was actually really nice! This is a really nice read with scandals and love and loss and everything you wanted to know if you loved Pride and Prejudice. But also if you aren't really interested in Elizabeth and Darcy, because come one. That story has been told a thousand times.
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Because I never ever tire of Jane Austen, it is always a pleasure to read novels starring the infamous Bennet sisters. It is 1813 and in the beautiful countryside we find Kitty left at home feeling sorry for herself and her uneventful foreseeable future, 19 years old, with three of her four sisters recently married. The Bennet family has quite the history and beautiful home but no fortunes to be had. It is imperative that Kitty marry a gentleman with means, and although she is quite aware of her place in the world, Kitty is convinced she will find love as well. When she has the opportunity to spend the season in London at her sister Jane’s home and later at Pemberley with the Darcy clan, Kitty’s world expands beyond her wildest dreams. After finally returning home to Longbourne nearly a year later, Kitty realizes she has suddenly grown up and can be the fearless woman who follows her dreams. Highly recommend this wonderfully written, enjoyable continuation of the sisters we hold dear to our hearts. Thank you author Carrie Kablean for taking me back on this classic journey.
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This is a pride and Prejudice variation that focuses on Kitty's life after the marriages of her two elder sisters.  In this book Kitty struggles to find herself, she has lived so long under the shadows of her sisters that at the beginning is hard to adapt to life with out them.  She struggles with understanding her role within her family, although she loves them, she realizes that somewhere along the line she lost her voice.  Kablean did a wonderful job of portraying Kitty as a person who not only learned from her past mistakes, but also a person  willing to better herself.  The book also bring up other characters that I loved from Pride and Prejudice made me look at them in a new light, such as Mr. Bennet really worrying about Kitty, Jane being more assertive among society.  But my favorite of all Bingley, who in pride and Prejudice seemed not that smart, in this book he is portrayed as being a great brother, husband and a lover of the arts.
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To my shame I'd not read Pride and Prejudice until about 2 years ago, in fact I read the wonderful Longbourn first! What Kitty Did Next sits neatly into the world created by Austen and expanded by Baker.
Kitty is overlooked in the original novel and I absolutely fell for Kablean's version of her and how in a large family assumptions can be readily made and hard to break.
The very ending was a little twee but on the whole I loved this book and I feel it may end up on my best of the year list
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What Kitty Did Next by Carrie Kablean is another Pride and Prejudice reimagining. This time, it’s focused on Kitty Bennet. Without Lydia, Kitty is a bit at a loss, but soon visits to the Bingleys and the Darcys show her a new side of society. A blooming friendship with Georgiana Darcy replaces her previous closeness with Lydia, and readers can see silly Kitty maturing into a cheerful, but thoughtful, young woman.  (Kitty, like the rest of us, can’t help wondering why Mary and Mr Collins didn’t get married, but Mary happily marries a missionary and sets off for India.)

But their happy times are upset when Lydia invites herself to Pemberley just in time for the summer ball, where she tells others guests about Wickham’s connections to the estate. She hasn’t changed although her high spirits seem tacky to Kitty now. I think there was some subtext pointing to Wickham’s debts, why else would Lydia go for the £50 over drama and attention? Fortunately, Lydia remains unapologetic and self-absorbed, so we don’t feel too badly about her terribly husband.  A bit of drama leaves Kitty looking guilty, and Elizabeth is quick to assume that foolish little Kitty is at fault.

Back at Longbourn, the gradual improvement of Kitty’s relationship with her father is one of the strongest points in the book. Kitty’s growth and the resolution of the false accusations is a satisfying conclusion to the story of the Bennet sisters.  Kitty, happily married to her chosen husband, will surely visit the Darcys and Bingleys, with growing closeness between the three sisters. Mary is content as a missionary wife, and even Lydia, although still a family embarrassment, seems perfectly happy with “dear Wickham.”

Just a few pages into the story, Kitty says she’ll surely never marry a vicar, which obviously meant she was 100% certain to fall in love with one. So I was on the lookout for a suitable vicar throughout the book, reading the background descriptions of any eligible young men just as carefully as Mrs Bennet would have, but only to see if they were single with a career in the church. Naturally, Kitty does marry a vicar, but this is artfully done, with an impecunious suitor suddenly receiving a living near Pemberley, just in time for him to get married.
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I enjoyed this book.  I’ve read quite a few “sequels” to Pride and Predjudice, and this is an excellent example of a spinoff story from Jane Austen’s classic.   The tone and dialogue fit very well with the original book. The characters stay true to their personalities from the original story.  I liked that the author allowed Kitty to grow gracefully in personality and character.  I also enjoyed the author’s development of Mr. Bennett. He retains his dry humor all through the book, but we are able to see his character change a little, too. The settings in both London and Pemeberly were descriptive and added to the story. Overall, it’s very well done and worth reading.  

I also appreciated that this is a clean story.  There’s no foul language or embarrassing scenes. I hope the author writes another book in this genre,
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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I did not enjoy this book about Kitty but the writing wasn't bad so I might try to pick up another book by the author in the future.
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