Cass's Reviews > The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet

The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCullough
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Mar 17, 15

bookshelves: fan-fiction, australian, 2010
Read in October, 2010

This book was a tedious read. The book focuses on the life of Mary Bennett who has been living and caring for Mrs Bennett (her mother) since the death of her father.

The author completely rewrites the personalities of all the major characters so that they only resemble the original characters of Pride and Prejudice in name alone. The author describes Mary Bennett as having lived years of boredom with her mother, an odd description given Jane Austen described Mary as the type of person who was forever busy (reading, playing music). The author described Jane and Elizabeth as the type of mothers with no interest in the upbringing of their children (For naturally Mrs. Darcy and Mrs. Bingley enjoy only the delights of children, leaving the miseries of parentage to {the horde of nurses, governesses and tutors}), again at odds with the description Jane Austen gave us of them as caring for their younger cousins. Darcy is described as regretting his marriage and being disgusted with his one womanly son.

The author seems to lose direction at times and takes to describing odd elements in the room with no purpose. Such as in the first chapter when she writes"Of course I do, Mama," Mary said perfunctorily, pouring milk into the bottom of her mother's cup, and tilting the fine silver teapot to pour an amber stream on top of the milk. Cook's girl had done well with the sugar, broken it into good lumps; Mary added on of exactly the right size to the tea, and stirred the liquid thoroughly.

She also treated the book as a history lesson, much of her historical dialogue felt like it was only included so that the readers could see how much research she had done.

Having said this the book does became somewhat better toward the end once the author gave up her pretense of this being a Jane Austen sequel. Both Mary and her love interest are engaging characters, again especially toward the end of the book. The last few chapters delivered some fantastic lines. I wish the author would rewrite the book based on her own characters, rather than pretending this is Austen fan-fiction.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Cass I know. It annoyed me too. I suspect she did not get the memo about actually reading the book before writing any fan-fiction about it.


Cass Like the guy who wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls. That was bad.


Cass I think it was your review that said something like he didn't read the books, he watched the movie with the sound on mute while texting on his phone.. lol that cracked me up.


Cass Have you read Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters? That author knew exactly what he was doing. It was so good that I want to read Anna Karenina just so I can read and understand his Android Karenina.


message 5: by Cass (last edited Mar 08, 2011 07:49PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Cass Hockensmith has never read Pride and Prejudice. He rented the BBC adaption which he watched on mute while talking on the phone.
Ceridwen's review (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...)


Cass I think it was that particularly review that inspired me to really get involved in this community, to write reviews for others to read.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

HOLY FUCK I WILL JOIN IN WITH THE SHOUTING.

What is UP with these latter day revisions? And Mary...I mean, I like the way Mary's character is drawn in P&P, but I do not like Mary, and wait, moreover, pulling Mary up by dragging Elizabeth and Jane down is that thing where girls attack each other instead of trying to pull each other up. Durr.


Cass The funny thing is that Colleen McCullough is actually a pretty respected author in Australia.


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