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The Pursuit of Mary Bennet: A Pride & Prejudice Novel

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,983 ratings  ·  354 reviews
A tale of love and marriage, society balls and courtship, class and a touch of scandal, Pamela Mingle's The Pursuit of Mary Bennet is a fresh take on one of the most beloved novels of all time, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Growing up with four extraordinary sisters—beautiful and confident Jane and Elizabeth, and flirtatious and lighthearted Lydia and Kitty—wasn't easy
Paperback, 302 pages
Published November 26th 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Start your review of The Pursuit of Mary Bennet: A Pride & Prejudice Novel
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
“I stared at my sister, who seemed grotesquely large. A cow about to calf.

For the Lord’s sake, how much of her simpering was I to endure? Have a care, Kitty. A good dunking would be just the thing for you.”
This is the tale of the bitchiest, boringest, stupidly self-sabotaging, sister-hating, sanctimonious cluck of the Bennett sisters. She is judgmental and hypocritical. A self-made social disgrace. A thief who would steal a sister's potential mate.
"“Was I willing to risk their censure by
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can’t resist a well written book that takes a less prominent, somewhat maligned character from one of Austen’s novels and convincingly rescues her (it’s usually a her) from the shadows with a plausible alteration of manners and a fitting happy ending. On all these accounts, The Pursuit of Mary Bennet delights.

Since Lizzie and Jane have gotten married Mary Bennet is much improved, though it took soul searching and hard work, and when upset she sometimes slips back into old patterns. Her singing
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Jane Austen Fans Who Aren't Too Picky
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Meh. Two Stars feels a bit stingy but Three Stars to indicate I actively liked it too generous. I pounced upon this book when I saw the giveaway in the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program because I was in dire need of comfort reading and I thought this might hit the spot. I'm a big Jane Austen fan. I've read not just the completed six novels but her two unfinished ones and some of her juvenalia--and reread them. And it's not enough. As Mingle wrote in the afterword an "intense longing for more ...more
Oct 13, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
A warm, charming continuation that follows the P&P formula with a few surprise twists. Mary gets a makeover, an attractive acquaintance named Henry Walsh, and a rush of maternal impulses. Fans of Austen and the sequels will enjoy Mingle's Austen-like touch and the chance to wander through the pastoral English countryside with familiar characters who behave exactly as we would expect them to.

Review from Femmeliterate excerpted below.

Mary is, in many ways, the least appealing of the Benne
In this sequel to Pride and Prejudice Mary Bennet finds herself the focus of the attentions of a young gentleman, Henry Walsh. A few years have gone by since the events of Pride and Prejudice; Elizabeth and Jane have both settled into married life and Kitty and Mary spend their time visiting their sisters. Mary has spent the years taking a hard look at herself and has changed dramatically from the hard and judgmental person that she was in Pride and Prejudice. Despite these changes, Mary is fair ...more
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Who remembers Mary Bennet? You know, the least-thought-of Bennet Sister from "Pride and Prejudice"? The one no one was particularly fond of? Well, Mingle's taken her and turned her into a heroine, giving her her own moment in the Sun.

I was pretty impressed. Mingle took Jane Austen's writing style and combined it with her own unique voice. She stayed pretty true to the Bennet sisters' characters, though she did take some liberty with Mary. Of course, as there was little about Mary in the original
Oh, Mary Bennet. What is there to say about her? Unfortunately, the most pedantic, priggish and un-proprietous Bennet sister from Pride and Prejudice has not received the attention from Austenesque authors that her sisters have enjoyed so regularly: Jane is known for her beauty and kindness, Lydia and Kitty for their rambunctiousness, and of then of course there is the spirited and witty Lizzy. But where does poor Mary fit in? Perhaps you could say, “there’s something about Mary,” and now we hav ...more
Sep 30, 2013 rated it liked it
At First Sight: Used to being the ugly duckling of her own family, Mary Bennet spends most of her time alone. Knowing fully well that her sisters don't really like her, and that she has embarrassed her family on more than one occasion, Mary has started to change, becoming more thoughtful and acquiring some decorum. Even if she's still left alone most of the time -while Kitty is more often invited to visit their elder sisters Jane and Elizabeth - at least her relationship with her father is impro ...more
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
Pride and Prejudice is social satire; The Pursuit of Mary Bennet is chick-lit. Austen never developed Mary as a character and I've always thought something interesting could be done there, but this book didn't do it. So disappointing. The plot was modeled on Pride and Prejudice in all the non-essential ways, missing completely the essence of the story. ...more
In this P&P sequel the story begins three years after the end of Pride and Prejudice where we find Kitty and Mary still unmarried.
But Mary has changed, and when once again Lydia and Wickham cause a scandal they are both sent to visit the Bingleys. Where Kitty is re-introduced to the gentleman she believes wants to marry her. But what about Mary. Some new characters are introduced into this lovely story.
A delightful well-written story, an enjoyable re-read.
I have owned this book for awhile and have put off reading it because I had so many other Austen Variations to read and frankly, Mary just was not a very interesting character in Pride and Prejudice. She perplexed me. She studied sermons, but not the bible and did have some sense of decorum but behaved a little foolishly in public. So, who wants to read about Mary when Elizabeth is there?

But, from the onset, this book surprised me and amazed me. Mary has grown up three years since we leave P&P w
Amalia Carosella
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
A quick, easy and enjoyable read about the most overlooked Bennet sister, poor middle-child Mary. Her romantic hang-ups are well thought out and addressed and her ultimate HEA quite satisfying! It's exactly what Mary deserved after so many, many years of neglect. ...more
Nov 05, 2013 added it
Shelves: austenesque
Check out my review on Diary of an Eccentric ...more
Ghost of the Library
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
From time I need to literally "clear my mind" and so I choose a couple of books that normally I would stay WAY clear of.
That was the case here, partly curiosity partly wish to see if something could be done out of middle sister Mary Bennet, I came across this one at my local library.
I can safely say I wouldn't go out of my way to buy a copy , but I have to admit to very much enjoying the read.
Easy breezy read with some inconsistencies of language in regard to the period but all in all a decent e
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed it! Review to come later, closer to publication. :)

Full Review

Mary Bennet has always been the black sheep in her family. As the middle sister, she's on the outside of things while Elizabeth and Jane stick together and Lydia shares everything with Kitty. Now with three of her sisters married and Kitty on her way to being engaged, Mary is feeling more on the outs than ever. She has improved very much in the past three years, overcoming many of her youthful faults but everyone st
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
If you are a Jane Austen fan of Pride and Prejudice, you will love this novel. If you haven't seen Pride and Prejudice, watch it and then deeply immerse yourself in the richness this novel offers when it picks up where the original leaves off. It had been quite awhile since I had read or even watched the movie and in order to reacquaint myself in the characters of the Bennet girls I spent some time watching the movie. Since this novel takes a look at life from Mary Bennet's point of view I had t ...more
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Most readers are familiar with the five Bennet girls from Pride and Prejudice. Most came to love fiery Elizabeth and sensible Jane and cheered at the end when these two got their happily ever afters. I admit that Lydia always bothered me in the novel and I felt that in the end she was not really impacted by how her behavior could have ruined her family. Kitty seemed to just be giggly and Mary was a non-entity. There really was not much to Mary in Pride and Prejudice except that she acted like a ...more
Aug 26, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a light and cute imagined sequel to Pride and Prejudice, that tells the story of everyone's least favorite Bennet sister. Maybe not *least* favorite, but probably most annoying or least noticeable. Anyway, in this story, Mary has matured and tried very hard to overcome her youthful obnoxiousness. So when circumstances force Mary to the home of her sister Jane and Mr. Bingley, she is much more open to the idea of a romantic overture from Henry Walsh. Elizabeth and Darcy make an appearance ...more
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: uk, historical
Thanks to Edelweiss and William Morrow Paperbacks for early access to this title.

2 1/2 stars - Its probably me, and maybe I should just quit trying to read the Jane Austen take-offs. For me, at least, they almost always disappoint. Like most Janites, I long to see a continuation of the story. However, this one in particular was a disappointment in the complete disregard of the Regency time period it was supposedly portraying. I realize modern audiences need different plot points, but having char
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always believed there was a story for Mary Bennet - and this is a wonderful one. I recommend it highly.
This is everything I wanted in a Mary Bennet story. A story not just about Mary falling in love, but about her finding herself in the process.

Full review will be up on my blog soon.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Avid Reader

Loved this book about Mary. As the often overlooked sister Mary has married Mr. Collins, a Viscount, Colonel Fitzwilliam, other vicars, and now a gentleman of means. The competition between Mary and Kitty was no competition since Henry Marsh really didn't care for her. However, his allowing Kitty to claim the first set was wrong when he had already asked Mary was just plain wrong! His explanation the following day was just plain wrong! Yes, I probably sound like Mary at this point, bu
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Pamela Mingle writes with the eloquence and charm that reflects that of Jane Austen's own writing.

It has been around three years since the events that took place in Pride & Prejudice. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have settled with their 2-year old twin girls and Jane and Mr. Bingley are still quite smitten with one another in addition to their 6 month old son David.

Life for 21 year old Mary Bennet has been pretty much the same; she still lives at home with her parents and Kitty, who has been increasi
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I would have given this 4 stars if not for the disturbing part. Let's just say that I liked it well enough until a certain point and then, I couldn't like Mary any more. I definitely would not want her as my daughter's babysitter. Pretty gross now that I am thinking on it more. Bumping it down to 2 stars. Just ick. ...more
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved this book!! Granted it was literally a page out of Austen's book, but that's what made it so endearing! Loved picturing the characters and finding them as they should be a few years after Pride & Prejudice. So good! ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Though an entertaining read, this book read very much like fan-fiction (with the storyline actually not unlike Pride and Prejudice itself, sigh). However, the main character was conveniently changed into a more socially acceptable person, while the other characters stayed exactly the same. I especially had some issue with the language - it was modern interspersed with some of the more famous terms from the Jane Austen books. If you're going to do a JA novel, go all the way.
Not a bad book at all
Jo LeGare
A sweet book about the lesser loved Bennet sister. I enjoyed reading about her and found some similarities in her manner. My only reservation to recommend this — the middle chapters were a tad dull. . . and then it ramped back up again in scandal, mutual understanding, and sweetness. 3.5/5 stars.
Elle Denise
Oct 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish this book. Mary wasn't likeable at all. ...more
Penny Poppleton
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Thoroughly enjoyable!
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Pamela Mingle is a former teacher and librarian who was fortunate enough to choose writing as a third career. Or maybe it chose her. :) She loves to create romantic tales that play out against historical events and always includes some humor in her books.

Pam and her husband enjoy walking in the UK--even though she's done her share of whining on the longer days. The walking trips have been an idea

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