My Review of “Mary B” An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice by Katherine J. Chen Random House Publishing Groups, July 2018
Katherine J. Chen, Author of “Mary B” An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice, writes her novel on Mary Bennet the middle sister. The author deals with “What if”about Mary using a unique and fresh perspective. In the original “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin, there is very little input about Mary. The other sisters overshadow Mary, and with their mother’s aggressive approach to marrying well, is basically ignored. In Katherine J. Chen’s novel, Mary is set stage and center. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Women’s Fiction, with a touch of Historical Fiction. The story takes place in England in the nineteen century, and is set in the past, present and future around the other Bennet sisters’ stories.
At this time in history, women’s roles were to marry to someone well established. It is a male dominated society. Men who had lesser titles also wanted to marry well. This was a time was it was important for the wealthy to have heirs, and often the real estate was left to the nearest male relative.
The author describes Mary as complex and complicated. The sisters appear to be jealous, immature, selfish , and at times mean. Some of the men in the story seem to be very shallow, and insecure.There are betrayals, and false promises.
Mary has been regarded as a “wallflower”. She doesn’t like balls, or groups. Often it is like Mary is invisible, and her family is not sure if she is there or not. Family and others often joke or put Mary down. Mary’s escape is reading books. Soon Mary starts to write books. My favorite part of the story is when Mary seems to be “modernized” and more independent and seeks her own path. What is to become of Mary Bennet?
I would recommend this book to readers that like fiction and historical fiction of this time period. Although this book is referenced to “Pride and Prejudice” it is a stand alone.I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review..