Lady Catherine’s Awakening- the release and another excerpt, by Colin Rowland

Lady Catherine’s Awakening- the release and another excerpt, by Colin Rowland

I thought this month I would be lazy and treat everyone to another excerpt from my latest book, which was released on March 29. I have to confess, my decision is a bit selfish. Jann and I had to make a trip to Utah for a family memorial. The death of our brother-in-law was not a surprise, but it did come earlier than expected. On our return, I was stricken with Covid, which has kept me from doing much of anything creatively. In trying to create a blog for this month’s contribution, my mind refused to cooperate, so I hope this will serve as an acceptable substitute.

My newest, Lady Catherine’s Awakening, is now for sale on Amazon. A last-minute name change from Lady Catherine’s Regrets came about because my original title was almost identical to someone else’s and I didn’t want possible purchasers to be confused and order the wrong book.

In this passage, Lady Catherine has withdrawn permission for Anne’s suitor to call, and the situation at Rosings Park has gotten tense. Anne is refusing to speak to her mother and Lady Catherine becomes desperate enough to march into Anne’s room, intending to end their fight:

Taking the chair from the writing desk, she sat and turned her attention to the problem. This girl was the most important person in her life, and she was determined to mend the damage their argument had caused. Watching Anne lean against the far wall, fussing with a piece of stitchery she had taken from the bureau, gave her a chance to plan her words. Control was essential if she was to restore their relationship. Her usual approach of scathing commentary and imperious commands was sure to have the opposite effect, and that was an outcome she could not abide.

“What happened to my beautiful daughter?” she began, noting that Anne dropped her head at the question. “You have avoided me these past few weeks, and it is breaking my heart. Why can’t we put our disagreements aside and love each other again? I miss you, Anne, more than I can say, and want your love again.”

Anne seemed to listen, and that encouraged her to continue. “What do you want from me? I am ready to do anything within reason to mend our relationship, but I need you to tell me what you expect. I cannot do this alone, but I know we can do it together.”

Silence descended on the room when Lady Catherine finished, and that bothered her. Had she said something that further offended the girl, or was she thinking about her mother’s apology? She prayed it was the latter because if Anne’s animosity persisted, she had lost the battle and her daughter.

“Please don’t ignore me,” she pleaded when Anne did not respond. “You need me to support and care for you. You have always been such a sickly girl, and this must be making things worse.”

At the mention of her health, Anne’s eyes went to Lady Catherine, while her head shook in impassioned disagreement. She was angry, but the reason was unclear. Why should the truth bother her like this? It was an issue she had lived with her entire life, so why take offense now?

“I have never been sickly,” she said, her words coming out in a growl. “You have told everyone since I was a child, how I suffered from poor health when my ailments came from the concoctions you forced on me to cure one sickness after another that you claimed I had contracted. Darcy and I used to laugh about whatever new illness you had convinced yourself I was suffering every time he visited, and how bad your cures always tasted. Some of those potions you had me drink were what made me sick, which you accepted as vindication of your illusion.”

Lifting her hands as if pleading, Anne said softly, “Your interference was the source of what you called my sickly appearance, Mother. You told me a month ago how happy you were that my health had improved over the past year, but conveniently forgot that the improvement started when I took control of my personal care. Since then, I have not suffered a single unexpected setback.”

Anne was mistaken, but Lady Catherine had no stomach for starting another argument. She might eventually realize how her childhood memory was deceiving her, but that issue would wait for another time. They were talking, and she wanted this to continue until their differences were behind them.

“Tell me what to do, please,” she said when Anne stopped, crossing the room to drop so heavily onto the bed that it seemed as if she had collapsed. “Together we can solve this problem if you make the effort with me. I want to bring you back. Let me know how, please.”

The confession came unbidden, as did the depth of her worry that she might not have her daughter’s future company if something didn’t change. And from Anne’s countenance, their fate hung in the balance, dependent upon her acceptance or rejection of Lady Catherine’s plea.

“Allow Mr. Forsythe to call on me,” said Anne, her words a direct challenge to her mother’s prior decision. “And accept the impossibility of my marrying Darcy. Let the illusion die a natural death, and face reality.”

At last Lady Catherine could let herself dream that their former love for each other might return. Anne had stated her conditions and although the worries remained, she would compromise if Anne would do the same. So happy was she that she refused to respond to Anne’s implied threat of the end to her one remaining ambition.

~

I had fun writing this story and enjoyed exploring the relationship between Lady Catherine and her daughter. A few clues in Pride & Prejudice suggested there might be a lot more to the woman than the domineering, insufferable shrew everyone seems to regard her as. In this book I have tried to portray her as a strong woman who is also vulnerable, and afraid of being left alone should Anne take her future into her own hands.

 

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8 COMMENTS
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DarcyBennett
DarcyBennett
April 12, 2022 12:21 PM

So sorry for your loss and illness. Thank you for the excerpt, I look forward to reading.

Caryl Kane
Caryl Kane
April 8, 2022 6:17 PM

I’m so sorry for the loss of your brother-in-law. Hope you are on the road to recovery.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful excerpt!

Glynis
Glynis
April 7, 2022 10:30 AM

I’m so sorry for the loss of a family member, then to get Covid? I do hope things are improving now.
Lady Catherine? Surely she knew what was upsetting Anne? Hopefully she will stop trying to control her now and just enjoy a mother daughter relationship while she can?

Gianna Thomas
AuAu
April 6, 2022 8:50 AM

Sorry for the loss of your brother-in-law. I hope you and Jann were able to give your sister some comfort.

As to Lady Catherine, she is quite a character whether in the original or a variation. I enjoyed this different look at a woman who was trying to be a good mother but just a little heavy handed in doing so.

cindie snyder
cindie snyder
April 5, 2022 6:21 PM

Sorry for your loss. Nice excerpt! It is great when Anne takes control of herself. Sometimes you have to!

Riana Everly
AuAu
April 5, 2022 4:31 PM

I’m sorry for your family’s loss. I’m glad to read below that you are recovering.
I always like stories where Anne tries to take back control over her life. Your premise is intriguing, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the story.

J. W. Garrett.
J. W. Garrett.
April 5, 2022 10:40 AM

First, I am sorry for the loss of your family member. Secondly, I am sorry for your contacting COVID. When you travel, there are so many contacts along the way that you may never know where or how you got it. I am so sorry. I hope your recovery is speedy for you and there are no complications. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

I enjoy a story where Lady Catherine is different than what is portrayed in canon. However, I am having to fight the shadow of all the truly horrid portrayals of her so that I might accept and enjoy your version of her. This sounds like it would be interesting as Anne tries to take back control of her life and her future. A mother’s love is a powerful thing and I am sure that Lady Catherine would be no different. I wish you all the best in the completion and success of this new work. Blessings.

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