Lynn Gardner: The Pursuit of Mary Bennet


4.03.2015

The Pursuit of Mary Bennet


The Pursuit of Mary Bennet is set three years after the events detailed in Pride and Prejudice. Mingle's Mary is a good deal different from the priggish, pedantic girl Austen too-briefly described in Pride and Prejudice and the change is a little surprising at first, but makes sense if you accept Mingle's premise that, with the absence of the older married sisters, Mr. Bennet has more time to spend improving his younger daughters. Also that Mary, having seen the happiness attained by her older sisters, has become more aware of of her own character flaws and actively worked to smooth them over.

I was willing to accept both suppositions and embrace this improved Mary. I was glad to see her with Jane at High Tor, enjoying the gentle attentions of Mr. Henry Walsh, even if silly Kitty did keep getting in the way. However, the baby craziness in the second half really put me off, because it was so unexpected and, well, a bit creepy. Poor lonely and unlovable Mary! Don't be another Lady Edith!

The Pursuit of Mary Bennet: A Pride & Prejudice Novel by Pamela Mingle (William Morrow, 2013)

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