The Other Bennet Sister
It is a sad fact of life that if a young woman is unlucky enough to come into the world without expectations, she had better do all she can to ensure she is born beautiful. To be handsome and poor is misfortune enough; but to be both plain and penniless is a hard fate indeed.
In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mary is the middle of the five Bennet girls and the...more
Janice Hadlow's version of Mary Bennet struck me as a Georgian era version of today's "I'm not like other girls" girl.
Mary Bennet has already been the subject of many sequels and re-tellings (there is a great article on her character called There’s Something About Mary Bennet) but I don't think that Hadlow's vision of her is particularly compelling or improving.
In The Other Bennet Sister Mary is painted as the overlooked underdog (which fair enough, Hadlow ...more
Mary Bennet, the middle sister, possesses neither beauty not charm shared by her sisters. The ugly duckling becomes the subject of many conversations. She finds consolation in music as she has no talent for drawing or painting and no patience for needlework. To stretch her intellect, Mary asks her mother to hire a governess, which is met with bleak enthusiasm. She is directed to Mr. Bennet’s library to read to her heart’s content. To her surprise the first book she picks is written by a ...more
Poor Mary Bennett, the 'ugly duckling' sister, the comic foil, the forgotten and ignored child! Portrayed in film as squinting, clueless, socially inept, pseudo-intellectual, and plain.
Her story must be depressing. She watches her older sisters marry well for love, and her silliest, youngest sister at least snags a handsome rake. Even Charlotte Lucas gets her ever after--happy to have a home if ...more
I was overjoyed when I saw this book at my local bookshop as I loved the idea of Mary’s story put to the page. It seemed so promising. And it was at first.
Then it turned into Pride and Prejudice 2.0 (Mary’s POV), until Part Two where it jolts two years into the future. I remained hopeful it would not be too fanfic-y.
The latter half of Part 3 and onwards saw an intelligent, burdened, lonely story turn into too much a RomCom for me. Mary gets a makeover! Mary falls in love! It was just ...more
I am glad that I read this book, having initially been wary because of bad experiences with other “Jane-lite” novels, which either repeated her plots in plodding prose, or ...more
When the book starts, the style of narration is so interesting. You can almost hear the author making observations about all the goings on in the Bennet household at the time of the Netherfield ball. It invites a really thoughtful examination of all the Bennets and their relationships to each other - particularly to Mary. What becomes very evident early on is that Mary has no ...more
What I really liked about The Other Bennet Sister was that Hadlow spends a lot of time really taking a good look at some of the minor characters and interactions. Mr Collins, Caroline Lucas, Miss Bingley and the ball at Netherfield are all examined and shown through another light or another point of view. She manages to create a much more ...more
I like how Mary, by herself, became a strong character and was very smart. She was book smart and smart with her decisions. I like how you saw a lot of true emotion from her character and how in the end ...more
It was interesting to see the Bennet family from a different perspective, and I did enjoy seeing Mary growing up and working out how she wanted to live.
There are many typos and other errors, for example part two ...more
This is not just another Pride and Prejudice spin-off – this is excellent quality, ...more
Mary is often portrayed as the plain, spinsterish music snob without much in depth look into her thoughts and feelings - which we thankfully get in spades in this reimagined Austen world.
Whilst I enjoyed this book and seeing things from Mary’s perspective, I felt that a few characters came across a little unfeeling - I have no doubt that Mr Darcy would have put more of an effort in making her ...more
The beginning of The Other Bennett sister is set in the same timeline as the events of Pride and Prejudice and offers Mary’s perspective of those events. I enjoyed learning more about how Mary’s character had developed through the effect of her mothers ...more
In many ways Hadlow develops Mary’s character very effectively. The reader can imagine why she suffers from such low self-esteem: very poor parenting, the odd ...more
The younger two sisters, Lydia, a wilful stupid girl, ran away with the feckless soldier,Wickam, and Jane Austen never did get around to telling us the fate of the other ...more
I loved the exploration of Mary as a younger girl, seeing the Bennet household through her eyes and how she became the awkward, discomforted young woman that we saw in P&P. Hadlow keeps a few key scenes in so we can see ...more
It was published on 9 January and as the audiobook, narrated by Kristin Atherton, was available when I began reading, I listened to this in conjunction with reading the eARC.
“In Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’, Mary is the middle of the five Bennet girls and the plainest of them all, so what hope does she have? Prim and pious, with no redeeming features, ...more
This the story of Mary Bennett from the Bennett Family of Pride & prejudice fame. As the very plain quiet scholastic middle daughter of 5 daughter the other 4 very beautiful. She is very much teased ridiculed and unloved in a very narcissistic household. She is also very clever and misunderstood. As the other daughters find suitors of good fortune. The family circumstances change when Mr Bennett dies and Mary must leave Longford the family home. As we ...more
This book is written in the same vein as Pride and prejudice and the first part of the book mirrors the storyline from the original but this time told from Mary Bennets POV . You can't help but feel empathy for Mary's situation . Mrs Bennet is indifferent to her , Mary's lack of good looks a continuing annoyance to her mother. After the death of Mr Bennett ,Mary is the ...more
One of the ...more
This book is far too long. It starts with a 200page retelling of P&P from Mary's perspective.... not sure if this was necessary and made for a slow read.
Book greatly improved when it flashforwarded 2 years later and the 'new story' began. I feel the book should have started from this point and made use of small flashbacks.
If the purpose of the book was to make us like Mary more then I feel this was not successful... found her highly irritating and whiny as a character.
However, I ...more
It was interesting to see how the author extrapolated various strands from the original novel and developed them, as well as introducing new characters and storylines.
Without giving anything away I was also pleased by the final outcome.
I'd be interested to read more by this author.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC.
I thought this was an excellent Pride and Prejudice continuation, one of the best I have read. The development of Mary's character really worked for me and it felt like an almost seamless progression from Austen's classic. I enjoyed the new characters and the new locations. I am hoping the much needed editing and proofreading doesn't alter the final offering too much. It would make a ...more
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