Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Book: The Other Bennet Sister (October 2020)

By Janice Hadlow

October 11, 2020

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 poor and handsome is misfortune enough: but to be penniless and plain is a hard fate indeed.

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?

An introvert in a family of extroverts, a constant disappointment to her mother; fearful of her father’s sharp tongue; with little in common with her siblings – is it any wonder she turns to books for both company and guidance?

The Other Bennet Sister, though, shows another side to Mary.

Simultaneously a wonderfully warm homage to Jane Austen and a delightful new story in its own right, The Other Bennet Sister is, at its heart, a life-affirming tale of a young woman finding her place in the world.  Witty and uplifting, it will make you feel – and cheer – for Mary as you never have before.

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