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Mary Reilly
 
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Valerie Martin
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Mary Reilly

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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,316 ratings  ·  114 reviews
From the acclaimed author of the bestselling Italian Fever comes a fresh twist on the classic Jekyll and Hyde story, a novel told from the perspective of Mary Reilly, Dr. Jekyll's dutiful and intelligent housemaid.

Faithfully weaving in details from Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, Martin introduces an original and captivating character: Mary is a survivor–scarred but stil...more
Published (first published January 1st 1990)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,524)
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Jeffrey Keeten
”Are you afraid of yourself, Mary?” Master said.

The room was silent about us, but for the clock ticking, which seemed to me loud of a sudden. I thought a long time might pass before I answered but Master and I would not know it, for we was both of us waiting to hear what I would say. At first I thought I would say no, for it seemed a strange thing to be afraid of myself, but then I thought he must mean afraid of what I might do, or might say, rather than what I am and what I see in the mirror. A
...more
Linda Palmer
I read this book because I liked the movie so much and figured there would be details not revealed on the screen. The movie is fairly faithful, so there weren't that many surprises, but I still recommend the book for a lot of reasons.

First, it paints such a rich picture of the times. I could tell that Ms. Martin had done her research. Particularly fascinating to me were the details of a life in service to others. Mary, a maid in Dr. Jekyl's house (yes, that Dr. Jekyl) stays busy from dawn until...more
Tara
I loved the chances Martin took with this plot and the characters. Most don't realize she's one of the writers who sparked the trend to write about fringe characters in famous novels.
Peter Vicaire
I recently read this one back-to-back with the original "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". I was halfway through "Jekyll" when the Boston Marathon bombings took place so until I finished the book, it carried with it for me a heavier internalization of the good/evil duality of man - especially when interviews of friends on the news played the same stories over and over about how they were "nice guys" and everyone was so surprised that they could do such a thing. "Mary Reilly" ended up bei...more
Lisa-susan
I read this book because I enjoyed Valerie Martin's "The Confessions of Edward Day" and I wanted to read another book by this author. This story is the retelling of Robert Louis Stevensen's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" from the perspective of Mary Reilly, a very perceptive housemaid in the house of Dr. Jekyll. I especially liked this bool after having read "The Confessions of Edward Day." In "The Confessions," the narrator may or may not be reliable. He has a doppleganger, who is is clearly a sourc...more
Autumn
"Mary Reilly" approaches the hoary tale of "Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde" from a different angle: the story is told from behind the scenes, as it were, through the eyes of Henry Jeckyll's intelligent, devoted servant girl.

This novel is a fascinating mixture of historical fiction and literary extrapolation, and it works far better than any book of it's type that I have ever read (Including Geraldine Brooks' "March", which was a Pulitzer Prize winner"). From the beginning, Martin drew me in with her s...more
Anastasia
Io mi sono intrattenuta bene, ma riconosco che questo libro equivarrebbe ai filmetti in tv che si beccano così, per caso, e intrippano ma si capisce perché non sia passato per i cinema e sia stato relegato alle tv. Non per fare quella sempre in linea con l'atmosfera utiliritastica del commercio, ma ci sono certi film pensati per la tv che consistono in una storia dalle "aspirazioni" abbastanza basse, da personaggi gradevoli ma non memorabili, e una storyline senza grandi piani. Il filmetto da tv...more
Kristina A
Jan 12, 2009 Kristina A rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kristina by: Amy Woodbury Tease
Shelves: neo-victorian
I liked this slim novel told from the perspective of the maid in Dr. Jekyll's house. I loved the descriptions of Mary's work (for some reason I enjoy descriptions of housework -- which is funny because I certainly don't like doing it) and Mary's voice was very distinct -- I feel as if I can still hear it in my head (part of the reason I plan to avoid the movie). The period details were really interesting, especially about funerals (my only complaint historically is that at one point, Jekyll asks...more
Jennifer
Though they're worlds apart stylistically, it's helpful to think of Mary Reilly standing in relation to Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea does to Bronte's Jane Eyre, in that they're both unexpected and compelling retellings of famous work that depend very little on their source material but manage to kick ass firmly on their own merits. I almost wonder if Martin didn't have Bronte a bit in mind when she wrote this, as Mary very much is Jane Eyre, dow...more
Pam
Mary Reilly is a maid in the home of Dr. Henry Jekyll. (Yeah, that Dr. Jekyll.) The novel is Mary's journals and covers the years she spent working in his house. Mary's father was cruel and abusive. She's not quite withdrawn, but she knows her "place" and staying in her place gives her a sense of security. Dr. Jekyll makes her feel secure as well. He's kind to her and recognizes her intelligence.

My only complaint about the book is that it stopped when the story of Dr. Jekyll stopped. I came to k...more
Austen to Zafón
Enjoyable re-hash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, from the point of view of Jekyll's maid, a sensible girl with a bright outlook and a keen interest in what goes on around her. I know some found the domestic details boring, but I liked that aspect, as Martin did her research on what it was like to be a maid at the time and I'm interested in domestic history. Well-written and compelling.
Carissa
I picked up this book after reading Stevenson's origin tale. I recalled it first as the hideous movie of a few decades ago and was surprised to see that it began as a novel. I have to say that the novel far surpasses the movie is all possible ways. Mary is an intriguing character, with a quiet strength and brutal resolve that is put to the test in her devotion to her employer. The development of their relationship from that of master and servant to a sort of unequal confidants is fascinating to...more
Anna Tatelman
I really wanted to like this book -- a lowerclass female characters's perspective on a novel that's driven entirely by well-off men? yes, please! -- but I just couldn't. I don't think enough "new" information was added to this adaptation, and what new information/plot avenues were added were NOT exploited as fully as they could have been (e.g. the protagonist's traumatic backstory that never quite connected to her present, her unfulfilled romantic tension with Jekyll that could have brilliantly...more
Jason
A really outstanding tribute to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and a wonderful book in its own right. Mary Reilly is told in the form of journals written by a maid to Dr. Jekyll, it begins with her recounting a harrowing event from her childhood--written down at the request of Jekyll--and then continues through Hyde/Jekyll's death. At first the links the book are very opaque, you might now have even known, but eventually most of the major incidents show through. Unlike "Hyde" it does not offer any new...more
Brigette
Morbid and filled with dread in a good, good way. Julia Roberts gets it spot-on in the movie adaptation.
Jae
I found the language a little awkward at times, nevertheless this was a fairly engrossing read.
Suzanne Fox
A bit hampered in terms of suspense by its nature as a variation on an existing text, but a compelling book nonetheless. I re-read recently (looking forward to Martin's January release of a novel about the doomed ship Mary Celeste) and enjoyed it even more the second time around.

Most powerful of Martin's novel's many strengths is its voice, which is compelling, consistent and convincing. It can be tricky to narrate a book through the "journals," which can be hard to make at once novelistically e...more
Christine
I treasure books that offer a fresh twist on classic tales, elevating those characters that were given little voice in the original telling. Often these individuals are the overlooked of society, those so easily forgotten by history. It does not matter if the characters are made of fiction or if they truly lived. These new stories give them, mostly women of ages past, the agency each of our lives deserves.
This novel offers up the seminal Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story from a unique and intrigui...more
Aja
Review on Mary Reilly

The most important fact of this review to start with is that Mary Reilly by Valerie Martin is a remix of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Even if you know this, it is likely you will forget it as the story progresses, but beware. The ending and the plot will remain the same. As a remix, it keeps the same aspects of its original. It has the horror sort-of feel and the gothic stylings of Robert Louis Stevenson. It’s Victorian in context and, though the main charact...more
Ethan Shepley
I realize how hard it is to write a good story. Stressing over every syllable until the mind goes numb over exhaustion. Rearranging sentences structures a seemingly amount of times. Pouring over the memory banks for the phrase that will capture the essence of the story. In the end, the writer pulls these elements together to create a style unique to them. One might assume such diligence would shield the author from criticism, but it is the exact opposite. The reader expects more terms in style...more
Brooke Kuehn
As novels such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Jane Slayre hit the bookshelves, one may begin to stereotype this relatively new genre of remixing as one that simply adds horror and comedy to classic novels. While these renditions may be entertaining for some, they also cause many to believe that this style of writing will one day be laughed at and most likely only be a passing fad. However, stories like Mary Reilly may quite possibly change that opinion, proving that remixes can in fact...more
Jessica

Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is perhaps one of the most celebrated novellas of the 19th century. It is a classic archetypal tale of the battle between good and evil; what would happen if a human being could separate his good and evil sides? Based upon the moral of this story, the result is undesirable… as many know (and as the story aptly and dramatically portrays), when evil is consistently chosen over good, demise is imminent.
Thus, the story of Dr. Jek...more
Richelle Dodaro
If you’re a Jane Eyre fan, but thought Jane needed to tone things down a notch then Valerie Martin’s Mary Reilly is definitely a recommended read. Jane Eyre had its own remix in Jane Slayre, so, Mary Reilly, as a remix of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it does succeed in maintaining the creepy, mysterious elements of the original on many different levels.
The setting itself was mysterious because of the dark images it portrayed, therefore also sharing sim...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
I knew the basic plot of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but hadn't read Robert Louis Stevenson's classic before reading this book. It's not necessary though--not with that book being so much part of popular culture. You just need to know that Dr. Jekyll, who seems a kind, philanthropic physician is also Mr. Hyde, a monster of depravity let loose by a potion. Knowing just that, you can get the richness and irony of seeing this story from the point of view of a young Irish maid in Dr. Jekyll's service....more
Maria
Comprei este livro há alguns meses. Decidi lê-lo agora por ser de um formato pequeno e com poucas folhas.

"Mary Reilly" conta a história de uma das empregadas de Dr. Jekyll, do livro de Robert Louis Stevenson.
Mary trabalha na casa do Dr. Jekyll e demonstra uma certa afeição para com o seu amo. Jekyll também o demonstra, em especial porque a rapariga é bastante perspicaz, honesta, séria e letrada.
Mary é uma jovem na casa dos vinte anos. Quando era pequena era maltratada pelo pai e isso deixou-lh...more
Summer
Mary, a maid for Dr. Jekyll, was first noticed by her master because of her deformed hands. She had been locked in a closet with a large rat which grew frantic and attacked her. Her master traces her scars gently and from that point on treats her with a deep level of respect and trust. But something is not quite right in this house. It function on one basic rule: when the master is in his laboratory there will be no interrupting him. The only problem is that he would stay there for such a long...more
Bev Hankins
Mary Reilly by Valerie Martin is a retelling of Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde. Vividly told from the point of view of Mary Reilly, a maid in Jekyll's house, we are given an inside look at how Jekyll's house was run and how his household viewed his behavior during those fateful months when Hyde was let loose. Her story is told in the form of journal entries made during her time in Jekyll's household..

Mary is a likeable character and, as the narrator, tells her story w...more
dead letter office
Valerie Martin is so much fun to read. This one was especially good, and I was lucky enough to read it after (finally) reading The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the first time (I continue to reap the benefits of not doing any of the assigned reading in high school). Her style, which always seems to tend toward the dark and the creepy, makes her perfectly suited to rework this story. There's an eeriness in being shown through the house you just read about by the maid who works there...more
Lucy Black
Mary Reilly is one of those books I can't part with. The book is a creative look at the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story told from the point of view of Dr. Jekyll's maid. Valerie Martin is obviously a very skillful writer and has endowed her Mary with a unique and memorable voice. I really felt as if the voice was believable and ultimately very like able. Mary is sympathetic to the struggle with good and evil that her master is obsessed with. The abuse she endured as a child has cursed her with an...more
Sharlene Sanchez
Mary Reilly is a perceptive housemaid with deep admiration, love and respect for her Master, Dr. Henry Jekyll. She notices some strange things around the house, like her Masters deteriorating health and the amount of time he spends in his laboratory. When one day he sends her on a secret errand in a troublesome area with questionable tenants she is thrown aback and is not really sure what to think. Yet she cannot help have love for her master and cannot attach him to any wrongdoing. When her mas...more
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10493

Valerie Martin is the author of nine novels, including Trespass, Mary Reilly, Italian Fever, and Property, three collections of short fiction, and a biography of St. Francis of Assisi, titled Salvation. She has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Kafka Prize (for Mary Reilly) and Britain’s Orange Prize (for Property)....more
More about Valerie Martin...
Property The Ghost of the Mary Celeste Trespass The Confessions of Edward Day Italian Fever

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“I see I have this patience to wait it out, and the truth is no matter how dark I feel I would never take my own life, because when the darkness is over, then what a blessing is the feeblest ray of light!” 4 likes
“But you said you no longer care for the world's opinion," I said to him, "nor will I.” 0 likes
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