Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor Name: E.B. Wheeler
Mentee Name: Eliza Langhans
Title: ELEGANCE AND ECONOMY
Word Count: 102,000 words
In this retelling of Pride and Prejudice gone awry, Lydia’s scandalous elopement leaves the Bennets stuck at home with nary a gentleman in sight. Kitty’s sure she’ll grow old squabbling with her sisters in the sitting room––until an unexpected invitation offers a way out. But finding a husband isn’t so simple, and Kitty soon discovers she must choose between security and love.
One day, upon the arrival of no one and the expectation of nothing, with no prospect of any change to come, Lydia Bennet could not but express frustration to her sisters.
“If only someone new should visit! Everyone here is so dull.”
Jane was determined as ever to find some good in their situation. “At least we are secure in our home.”
“What?” said Lydia. “Why ever would we not be?”
“The estate could be entailed away,” explained Elizabeth, “as sometimes happens in families with only girls.”
Lydia scoffed. “Papa would never allow it.”
“He could do nothing to prevent it,” said Elizabeth.
Jane moved quickly to forestall one of their arguments. “The important thing is that we are safe here, together.”
Kitty did not find Jane’s statement a comfort. She could not be thankful for her home, not when she longed every day to be free. Yet what could she do, with no way to go anywhere or meet anyone?
A gentle tug at her skirt drew her from her thoughts. Despite everything, she found a smile for the small boy looking up at her. Three years old and more charming every day, Lydia’s son George was one member of the household Kitty could never resent. He pulled on her arm, and she followed his gaze out the window to spot three figures in the distance.
“Oh!” she said. Someone had come after all.