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The Other Bennet Sister

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  591 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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 Austens Pride and Prejudice, Mary is the middle of the five Bennet girls and the

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Hardcover, 655 pages
Published January 9th 2020 by Mantle
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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Roman Clodia
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
There have been numberless revisits, of course, to Pride & Prejudice but so many are sunny romances: this, like Jo Baker's 'Longbourn' takes a welcome critical look at that well-loved classic and at the characters within it. Focusing on Mary, the leftover Bennet who we love to mock, this redraws the whole family, including Jane and Lizzy, and also makes us ashamed of our complicity in sidelining Mary - however pious and dull, it's a terrible thing for a girl to feel unloved and unwanted in ...more
Annette
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

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. Bennets library to read to her hearts content. To her surprise the first book she picks is written by a
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Joan Happel
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Other Bennet Sister is a transformative story told through the eyes of one of Pride and Prejudices most maligned characters. I am always hesitant to read a Pride and Prejudice sequel or retelling. I love Jane Austen and her books and can find fault with all the many attempts that try to take up the mantel of her characters. The Other Bennet Sister is therefore a surprising delight. The first part of the novel is a retelling of the events in Pride and Prejudice through the eyes of Mary, the ...more
Anna Luce
DNF 50% (my first DNF of 2020...).

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 Theres 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
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Sophia
The oft forgotten of the five Bennet sisters who may have been a readers source of amusement or irritation, engendered pity or magnanimous sympathy comes endearingly alive in Janice Hadlows gentle opus to Mary, the other sister who must follow a very different path to happiness.

The Other Bennet Sister opens when Mary Bennet is a young girl happy and content with herself and her life until slowly she becomes aware of a miserable truth. Shes plain and unattractive. Jane the pretty sister and Lizzy
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Eric
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pitch-perfect, this is the best continuation of a Jane Austen novel I have read. The author has captured the tone and spirit of the original, and given new life to one of its most sidelined characters, Mary Bennet. Not only that, but she has also enhanced my understanding of one of the least likeable, Mr. William Collins.

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
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Nancy
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
All any of us want is a little attention, she thought...~from The Other Bennett Sister by Janice Hadlow

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
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Louise
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Other Bennet Sister is a very interesting look at one of the more overlooked characters in Pride and Prejudice the middle child, Mary Bennet.

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
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Daphne
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh.

I was overjoyed when I saw this book at my local bookshop as I loved the idea of Marys story put to the page. It seemed so promising. And it was at first.

Then it turned into Pride and Prejudice 2.0 (Marys 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 waaaayyy
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Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
If it wasnt so long, it would have been better. ...more
Susan Johnson
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
There are many types of books that I do not particularly care for but the top of the chart is people who write for other people's characters. Yet I still fall for it and then am unhappy with myself. How does another author really know what happened to Scarlett? How can anyone else really write for Robert Parker or Rex Stout? Yet I persist in trying them hoping for the best.

And what characters seem to be rewritten the most? It seems to be Jane Austen for some reason. So here I try it again,
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Vonda
Mar 27, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The story is about Mary Bennet, the almost forgotten Bennet sister. What a beautiful historical fiction that pays homage to Austen. . Hadlow does a great job of capturing Austen's style and details of the time period. The first part of the story drags a bit, in part because you are re-reading Pride & Prejudice from Mary's point of view. The pace picks up during the second half of the book when Mary starts telling her own story. A brilliant debut novel.
Sarah  Loves Books and tea
This was such a beautiful book and I was both laughing and crying throughout. The story follows what happens to Mary Bennett after the marriages of her older sisters and then the death of her father. Travelling between the homes of her sisters and her former home at longbourn she is depressed and fearful of the future before eventually finding relief and the possibility of romance while at the home of her uncle and aunt in London.

The writing was beautiful and I loved how Mary blossomed and
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Jenny
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jaff, 2019-read
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It is due for release in January 2020.

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
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Jo
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Other Bennet Sister
Janice Hadlow

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books and one I reread every year since I was seventeen. The characters, the language and the misunderstandings are one I never tire of reading about.
The Other Bennet sister is about Mary Bennet the plain bookish wallflower that is utterly annoying in the original.
Here she emerges from the shadows and transforms into a desired woman with choices of her own.

I really despise sequel as usually there terrible, but The
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Melissa
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Then he took her in his arms again, and they found ways to express their happiness that required no further words from either of them."

One of the most spectacular Austen retelling I have ever read! A book about everyday life, it truly dives deep into the emotional and moral compass of the characters. While telling weaving its own new tale, it perfectly struck that Austenesque style of writing.

A Pride and Prejudice retelling from Mary's point of view, this story is a breath of fresh air in a
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Dianna
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I came to this book with some trepidation because I have been disappointednay, scarredby Austen sequels before.

I needn't have worried. The Other Bennet Sister, Mary Bennet's arm of the story, is altogether delightful. It's honest, raw, and hopeful. It is faithful to Mary's character, loyal to the original book, and always mindful of Regency sense and sensibilities (up until the very end, but I enjoyed the story enough that I politely looked the other way at the small breaches of Regency
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Lynn Brown
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It can be a little scary if you love Pride and Prejudice to read a book that bases itself on the very same characters, however, you can be sure you are in safe hands with this author. I felt every time I left the book I was thinking about it, almost like it was running on without my reading it. Every time I went back to read it was like slipping into a cosy room by the fire and settling down - I loved it. I will admit though it is a long book and I read another book in between at times to stop ...more
Camila - Books Through My Veins
- thanks to @macmillanaus for sending the book my way💕

I must confess I was quite intimidated by the size of this book the minute I received it. Therefore, I decided to take my time with it and set a certain amount of pages to read per day, to ensure I wouldn't be falling into a reading slump. Spoiler alert: my precautions were not necessary at all.

The writing was utterly delightful; smooth and consistent with the 19th century's writing style. The descriptions are on point with the era, and
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Rachel
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow is an excellent followup of one of the lesser-known Bennet sisters, Mary, from Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice.

I was so excited to be able to read this book as I am a HUGE fan of Austen. I also have very high expectations from authors that use any of her beloved characters to create either a new novel, or a part two concept from a previous novel. Some have not been very impressive I have to say.

BUT, this book definitely fits the bill. There were so many
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Anne Fenn
Feb 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Another novel for readers who love the works of Jane Austen. This one imaginatively develops the story of Mary Bennet, the piano playing plain sister, always serious in the glimpses we see of her in Pride and Prejudice. She is totally eclipsed by her lively and beautiful sisters. Here the author does produce a really authentic Jane Austen type novel, in writing style, plot and characters. Mary is entertaining, I really enjoyed her for the first half of the book. After that I found the story went ...more
Zaïn
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
do you ever read a book and just know that it's going to be one of your favourites ever
Menna van Praag
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Im listening to this on audiobook- the size was a little too intimidating for proper reading! & already enjoying it immensely! ...more
Dee/ bookworm
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always wonder about Mary when reading or watching Pride and Prejudice, so I was thrilled to get this novel. I really like the authors take on Mary. It brought the Bennett family in focus from a much different view, and while entertaining, it didn't deviate from Austen's novel, only added to it.

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
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Roberta
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is extremely long - it took me 10 hours to read, compared to the 3 or 4 a normal length novel takes me. Parts one and two are largely composed of the melancholy reflections of Mary, (both before and after the marriages of Lydia, Jane and Elizabeth) who seems utterly miserable.

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
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Pan Macmillan Australia
According to Wikipedia, which has reams and reams of material on Pride and Prejudice, youll find nearly 200 years worth of reprints, unofficial sequels, spin-offs, plays, TV series and movies, including the Pride and Prejudice-inspired Bridget Joness Diary, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and P.D. Jamess detective novel Death Comes to Pemberley. There are dozens and dozens of adaptations and continuations.

This is not just another Pride and Prejudice spin-off this is excellent quality,
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Marlene
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

The Other Bennet Sister is definitely NOT a book to be judged by its cover. I really hated that cover and this is one of the rare occasions where the UK cover is just as bad. Both covers seem to picture Mary Bennet exactly as she was in Pride and Prejudice. She seems washed out in the US cover and judgmental in the UK cover.

But I loved the book.

The real Mary, or at least the version I want to be the real Mary, does begin her story as sermonizing and
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Helen
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Other Bennet Sister is an interesting tale of the often overlooked sister from Pride and Prejudice, Mary Bennet. The bookish and supposedly boring Mary, comes under the microscope and we see events from her point of view.

I will only say it seems plain to me that you long for happiness and freedom. But Im afraid the first is only to be had by embracing the second, and it takes a great deal of courage to do that. Especially for a woman. He rose, brushing the dust from his coat. For you, I
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Carin
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


Most people I know who read Jane Austen just detest Mary Bennet, the unlikable, prudish, judgmental middle sister from Pride & Prejudice. However I've always felt a little bad for her. Even in a large family, she's obviously cast out, with no allies to get her through their somewhat difficult life out in the rural countryside with nothing to do, no real prospects for her, and a highly uncertain future. It's lovely of Ms. Hadlow to imagine a different future for Mary than most of us do.

The
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Steph Warren
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author, Pan Macmillan and NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Ive always had a bit of a soft spot for Mary Bennet. She is bookish, unsociable and fails to find enjoyment in discussions about marriage and clothing we have a lot in common!

For that reason I was intrigued to pick up this book, which is not exactly a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, but picks up the same characters and events from Marys perspective and
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Goodreads Librari...: add cover 5 17 Aug 09, 2019 03:40AM  

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Janice Hadlow has worked at the BBC for 28 years, including more than 10 years as a top executive. She was educated at comprehensive school in Swanley, in north Kent, and graduated with a BA in history from Kings College London. She currently lives in Bath. A Royal Experiment is her first book. ...more

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