The last we hear of Kitty Bennet in Pride and Prejudice is that she “spent the chief of her time with her two elder sisters. In society so superior to what she had generally known, her improvement was great.” Carrie Kablean takes us on Kitty’s journey of improvement in What Kitty Did Next. It’s inline with her fate as envisioned by Jane Austen, but I won’t spoil the ending by telling you!
As Kitty matures she’s able to see where she was led astray and why. Carrie agrees with a hypothesis I’ve long held, that Kitty was sick as a child. Lydia was not only the stronger character but also the stronger sister. Lydia remains “a force to be reckoned with” that threatens Kitty’s “peace and enjoyment” putting her “on her guard.” It’s a shame Lydia is never allowed to grow up – not in the epilogue to Pride and Prejudice or in fanfiction.
Carrie does a fine homage to Austen’s writing with a few gems Austen could have written herself. Some so good, you’ll laugh out loud:
What Katy Did Next is a children’s book from the late 1800’s, published about 70 years after the events in What Kitty Did Next (published 2018). It makes the title of this novel have a familiar ring that you can’t quite place, a little like Carrie’s writing reminds you of Austen’s.