Friday, 4 April 2014
No one who has ever seen me would suppose me a heroine. My situation in life, the character of my father and mother, indeed my own person and disposition are all against me.
Mrs Bennet is determined that all five of her daughters must marry. Mary overhears a conversation between her parents that shatters her already fragile sense of self-worth. She knows she is the least attractive of the sisters but to hear that her attempts to overcome this by being intelligent and accomplished are laughable sends her into a deep depression.
Mary and her her sister Kitty are sent to Derbyshire so that their elder sister, Mrs Darcy, can introduce them to suitable young gentlemen. Mary is satisfied to remain a spinster and is shy with gentleman. But she does decide she should try and improve herself.
On the way to Derbyshire she meets a strange gentleman who she considers ill mannered. However she is intrigued by his knowledgeable conversation about old buildings.
On arrival at Pemberley, the home of the Darcy’s, Mary discovers that the stranger is a Mr Sharnbrook of Kent and also a house guest. Mr Sharnbrook is an amateur archaeologist and has come to Pemberley to excavate possible burial mounds as part of his studies. Mary is interested in his work and offers to help him sort out his notes. Engrossed in the work, her spirits begin to lift.
A continuation of Pride and Prejudice beginning eight months after the end of Jane Austen's novel, Mary Bennet tells the story of how the Bennet's neglected middle daughter tries to overcome the disadvantages of her character and find happiness.
If like me, you loved Pride and Prejudice then you will absolutely adore Mary Bennet. Kate Allan has continued in the writing style Jane Austen managed to capture the hearts of so many readers with. The story is about Mary, the Bennet sister considered less attractive and less interesting by her family. She is called 'bookish.' This just made me love her all the more. I could so relate to Mary. It was wonderful to connect once again with the other characters from Pride and Prejudice, especially the brooding Mr Darcy and the lovely Elizabeth! I was completely drawn in once again by the romance of the era and the beautiful language.