Recently I saw a book entitled "Willoughby's Return", which is obviously about Willoughby returning to Marianne's life three years after she marries Colonel Brandon. While I think there are a few mistakes in the plot line (I'm not positive because I have not read the book just the back cover) I think it has some interesting points. What happened to Willoughby? He loses Marianne...does that make him broken hearted? The Emma Thompson version of the movie would have us think that.
What about the others in Austen books that have loved and lost? Does Elizabeth Elliot ever recover from losing Mr. Elliot to her sister Anne and then to Mrs. Clay? Does Henry Crawford recover from losing Fanny? What about his sister, Mary, does she recover from losing Edmund?
There are a great many books that continue the happily ever after that I created, but rarely do we see the other side. There are books that show how Lydia Bennet and Charlotte Lucas fair after their choices, but rarely is the one left behind spoken about.
One could argue that Mary, Henry, Willoughby, and Elizabeth are perhaps not good characters. Perhaps they don't deserve a happy ending, but then we must ask ourselves what about the one who does? I have always loved Colonel Fitzwilliam and while she was at Rosings I thought that he and Elizabeth could make a good match. He is jovial and kind although he might have spoken out of turn. I like him. It is Fitzwilliam that I am interested in. I have read some sequels where he and Georgiana make a match of it, which I like. I have read a sequel where he marries Ann de Bourgh, which I wasn't crazy about. What ending would you give Fitzwilliam? What ending would you give any of the broken hearted in my novels? Who deserves to find love and who doesn't?