Rate this book

Mary Bennet (2012)

by Jennifer Paynter(Favorite Author)
3.52 of 5 Votes: 4
Penguin Books Australia
review 1: My true rating is 3 1/2 stars.I'm going to start by saying that I adore and have an undying loyalty to P&P. Along with Jane Eyre, it's my favorite book. I mention this only to underline my dislike, borderline hatred, for any books that try to revise or continue from P&P. However, I was pleasantly surprised with The Forgotten Sister. Paynter was able to keep true to the spirit of P&P and its' characters. I would recommend this book to any loyal P&P reader.The only reason I gave this novel a chance, aside from its $1.99 price, was that it involved Mary who is absent and barley mentioned in P&P. And, honestly, I always felt like Mary got shafted. While everyone likes to imagine themselves as Elizabeth, I'm self-aware enough to realize I'm probably more of a Mary; someone who ... moreis not naturally blessed with great beauty or vivaciousness but works hard to better themselves but never really succeeds at coming off natural. I will warn readers that while there is no revising of scenes, Paynter does add back story to Mary and Elizabeth. Some might find this objectionable, I, however, didn't find this addition problematic. The more I read this novel, which is basically the events of P&P as told by Mary, the more sympathetic I felt towards her. Dare I say, this book helped me push Elizabeth off the pedestal I had her on. This is not to say that Paynter, paints her in the negative light. I just found myself during the course of this novel, re-evaluating her actions in P&P from another perspective. I enjoyed the novel right up until the last 1/4th of the novel. I thought, she kept Mary's character and actions consistent with the little of Mary we know from P&P for the majority of the novel. However, Mary's actions towards the end don't seem consisent with her character.Maybe I'm expecting too much, considering as it's advertised as a romance novel, but it felt too much like semi-instant-love. She's this upright, intelligent, rational character until she meets a boy and then she's willing to give up her pursuits, her family, and comfort to be with him. Upon reflection, it kind of feels like the reader is being asked to accept that Mary should be happy that any boy wants to Mary her. While I was invested/believed their initial courtship, there was not enough character development on his part, to have me believe that they would be happy together. To be fair, I might have just wanted something more for Mary. P&P at some level is a story about wish fulfillment, and I hoped for a more romantic and uplifting ending for Mary.
review 2: 3.5 starts. I thought it was very well written and entertaining. The author manages to portrait pretty accurately the characters of Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." Many will probably not like the portrayal of Darcy and Elizabeth, but considering that the source is supposedly Mary Bennet I find it believable that in Mary's eyes those characters would not be as likable as we find them to be.Although I did enjoy Mary's love story, I found the ending somewhat unsatisfying. It was a bit too rushed, although it should have been the most interesting part of the book. I thought there was a lot of unexplored material there that the author could have worked on. Alas, the focus was more on the story we already know but from Mary's point of view. We also never get to really understand Mary's love interesting, or his motivations. I wish there would have been more closure in that respect.Regardless, it is an enjoyable read and I think even people who have not read "Pride and Prejudice" might like it. less
Reviews (see all)
a sensitive view of the misunderstood Mary Bennett
very blah. couldn't finish
Meh, bit disappointed...
3 and a half stars.
Write review
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)