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.

My Review

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. 

I love the dynamic between Mary and her sister Kitty but could not dislike Kitty. She herself is a victim of the expectations and limitations imposed on women in that era and acts accordingly. At times I did feel quite sorry for her. Likewise, I instantly liked  Mr Sharnbrook. He and Mary both seem like lost souls who do not fit in with the society of the time. Both socially awkward and unsure of themselves and each other. Mr Sharnbrook is initially a stand-offish character but I thought that made him more interesting! Kate Allan is without doubt a very talented author who has continued a classic story in such a way that would have made Jane Austen proud. A brave venture but one that has worked so well. This book has made me want to go and read Pride and Prejudice again! Congrats to Kate Allan on this wonderful book! Highly recommended.

About Kate Allan

Kate lives in the Bedfordshire countryside, England, close to the Chiltern Hills. She developed plans to be a novelist at the age of seven after reading about the career of prolific children's author Enid Blyton, whose adventure and mystery story books she read avidly. She taught herself to use her mother's typewriter to try and make her stories look like "proper books". Endlessly fascinated by "the past", Kate took a degree in History before starting a commercial career.
She began seriously writing in 2001, taking a notebook with her on the train to make best use of her commute to work. She wrote two historical novel manuscripts before receiving an offer of publication for the second - a short novel - in 2004 from DC Thomson. Fateful Deception is a romantic adventure set in the early 19th century and was shortlisted for the 2005 RNA New Writers Award. 
2006 saw the publication of Perfidy and Perfection, Kate's romantic comedy set in Jane Austen's England, and the publication of two short novels: Fateful Deception and The Restless Heart.

Kate also writes in partnership with author Michelle Styles under the name Jennifer Lindsay. Jennifer Lindsay's first novel, The Lady Soldier, is a romantic adventure about a lady who disguises herself as a man in order to join Wellington's army. It was published in 2005.
The kind of stories Kate writes are those that she would like to read, and she hopes that others will find them enjoyable and entertaining too.
Kate is member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Lovely review... it defenitely made me want to re-read Pride & Prejudice, followed by Mary Bennet...

  2. Awesome review to end the tour with JB.

    Thank you for taking part!


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