This novel is the story, as seen by Mary. How is it to grow up in a family where you are the odd one out? When your mother is hugely dissapointed that you are not beautiful or charming, since that is what a girl needs to get married. And worse of all, you even need glasses!
Mary focusses on her music and her reading, but nobody notices her efforts or appreciates them. When Mr. Bennet dies, all her sisters are married, and she and her mother need a place to live since their home is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. Collins.
Mary finally settles in London, with her uncle and aunt Gardiner, fine people with a lot of class and warmth. Here, for the first time in her life, Mary knows genuine affection and loving guidance, and who knows, perhaps love and a happy ending are even possible for her.
The other Bennet sister is an excellent historical novel. It is always difficult to write a novel with know literairy characters, but since we know so little about Mary, it is not a problem.
Little parts of the dialogue from Pride and Prejudice is present, and the whole writing style blends in with Jane Austens style, without feeling forced or silly.
The whole story is done so well, with some heartbreaking scenes where Mary tries to win the approval of her parents without any luck, that I can say that I think Mary has become my favorite Bennet sister. It is a large book, over 650 pages, but I read it in an evening and a morning, since I could not put it down. I loved it very much and I think Janice Hadlow wrote a wonderful book.
Published in 2020