Ms. Fairview's book, The Other Mr Darcy made me ask myself if Caroline Bingley was perhaps one of the most misjudged people in literary history. When I first began the book, I was skeptical. After all, she is most often portrayed as a bit of a snob, to say the least (and this is probably the nicest thing I can say about the way she is portrayed). But to ascribe real, explainable emotions to her? Unthinkable! Yet, that is exactly what Ms. Fairview does---and quite admirably, I might add.
At the start of the story, we discover that there is in fact, a second Mr. Darcy. No, he doesn't have a secret twin (nothing so sinister for our Darcy); it is an American-born cousin on Darcy's father's side. Mr. Robert Darcy has returned to England on business for his family and unwittingly witnesses a moment of real human emotion from Miss Bingley when he encounters her weeping from her broken heart after Mr. Darcy's wedding. She is horrified and chagrined, to say the least, at being caught by him, even though she has no idea who he is (I daresay it would have made her mortification that much worse if she'd immediately known).
Nearly a year later, he arrives at Netherfield to summon Jane to Elizabeth's side. Of course, Jane and Charles (who has boasted in the past of being able to quit a place within five minutes if he so desired) depart immediately for Pemberley, leaving Miss Bingley and a recently widowed Louisa to travel to Pemberly a few days later in company with Mr. Robert Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, who travels from London to join the party at Bingley's request. Their journey to Pemberley is beset with obstacles, which force them to spend a few days in the country home of a friend of the Colonel's. While there, when a rumor threatens to ruin Miss Bingley's reputation, Mr. Darcy comes to her rescue--by announcing their engagement, albeit a phony one.
Once the party finally arrives at Pemberley and their "engagement" is known, there are those present who would come between them. Throughout a vast assortment of zany story plots (a bit too many, in my opinion), it is obvious to most anyone else how the couple feels about each other. But will they each realize how the other feels in time?
During the story, we were presented with some explanations of why Caroline Bingley is the way that she is. And although I did not think it possible at the start of the story, by the end, I have come to realize that yes, she really could be a most misunderstood heroine. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to read (or watch) my favorite book quite the same way ever again.