The Other Bennet Sister

The Other Bennet Sister

4.04 (45 ratings by Goodreads)
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For fans of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Janice Hadlow's The Other Bennet Sister tells Mary's story...

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 handsome and poor is misfortune enough; but to be both plain and penniless 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? Prim and pious, with no redeeming features, she is unloved and seemingly unlovable.

The Other Bennet Sister, though, shows another side to Mary. An introvert in a family of extroverts; a constant disappointment to her mother who values beauty above all else; 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? And, if she finds her life lonely or lacking, that she determines to try harder at the one thing she can be: right.

One by one, her sisters marry - Jane and Lizzy for love; Lydia for some semblance of respectability - but Mary, it seems, is destined to remain single and live out her life at Longbourn, at least until her father dies and the house is bequeathed to the reviled Mr Collins.

But when that fateful day finally comes, she slowly discovers that perhaps there is hope for her, after all.

Simultaneously a wonderfully warm homage to Jane Austen and a delightful new story in its own right, Janice Hadlow's 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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Product details

  • Hardback | 672 pages
  • 164 x 241 x 60mm | 944g
  • Mantle
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1509842020
  • 9781509842025
  • 3,616

Review quote

Another reboot of Jane Austen?!? Hadlow pulls it off in a smart, heartfelt novel devoted to bookish Mary . . . [The Other Bennet Sister is written] with sensitivity, emotional clarity, and a quiet edge of social criticism Austen would have relished. Entertaining and thoroughly engrossing * Kirkus starred review * A wonderful, absorbing, accomplished book. I loved it -- Stephanie Butland, author of Lost for Words and The Woman in the Photograph Fans will need no persuasion . . . Nicely emulating Austen's wit and style, Hadlow engineers an alternative story for the black sheep of the Bennet family that serves as a prequel to the original and allows Mary the kind of self-reckoning and chance of redemption worthy of any Austen heroine -- Metro In The Other Bennet Sister, Hadlow builds an immersive and engaging new version of a familiar world; her approach feels at once true to the source material and to life * Guardian * Impeccably researched, this lifts Mary from obscurity, as she breaks out of her mother's world and follows her own path * Daily Mail * Puts Mary front and centre stage exploring why she was so heartbreakingly sidelined by Mrs Bennet and gives humour and sensitivity to the most overlooked of the sisters * Stylist magazine - best books of 2020 * Jane fans rejoice! I loved this thoroughly estimable, worthy homage to Austen. Exceptional storytelling and a true delight -- Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and The Summer Before the War This gorgeous book pays homage to Pride and Prejudice - and follows Mary Bennet, the overlooked middle Bennet sister. It's a wonderfully, warm, comforting read - perfect on a winter's night * The Sun * Hadlow's great achievement is to shift our sympathies so completely that when happiness becomes a possibility for Mary, it's difficult not to race through those final pages, desperate to know if she will, after all, be allowed - will allow herself - a happy ending -- Jo Baker, author of LongBourn and The Body Lies I absolutely love this novel - as will any young woman who has felt herself plain, shy, bookish and crushed. Janice Hadlow's The Other Bennet Sister is the story of Mary in Pride and Prejudice. It's worthy of its Austen model, unlike most' -- Amanda Craig, author of The Lie of the Land and The Golden Rule Janice Hadlow has dusted down Mary, the ugly Bennet sister, and fashioned her into a heroine that even Miss Austen would approve of. A treat for Austenites and for anyone who likes their fiction to have sense and sensibility -- Daisy Goodwin, author of Victoria and The Fortune Hunter [A] novel that will delight Pride and Prejudice fans * Independent *
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About Janice Hadlow

Janice Hadlow was born in London and studied history at university. After a few years working for the House of Commons, she joined the BBC and became a television producer. She was the recipient of a number of awards, and is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society, as well as of King's College, University of London.

The Other Bennet Sister is her first novel. She currently lives in Edinburgh with her husband and has two sons.
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Rating details

45 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 24% (11)
4 64% (29)
3 4% (2)
2 4% (2)
1 2% (1)
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