REVIEW of Mary B.: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice, by Katherine J. Chen

Mary BThe premise of this book was interesting: to tell the story of the forgotten middle sister Mary from Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. The first part of the book was engaging–Mary’s ill-fated interest in Mr. Collins and misapprehension of his character was well-portrayed. But once the events in the final chapter of the original Pride and Prejudice are reached, that’s when things begin to go a bit sideways. In order to make Mary a sympathetic character, the characters of those we hold near and dear (particularly Lizzy and Darcy, but also Colonel FitzWilliam) are altered beyond recognition. On the plus side, I found the writing style compelling and the pacing of the story excellent, but surely it should be possible for Mary to find her own Mr. Darcy without sabotaging the life of the Mr. Darcy who we all know and love?

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