The Unexpected Miss Bennet by Patrice Sarath

The Unexpected Miss Bennet

Rating: *** – 3 Stars

GENRE: Regency Romance

BOOK SUMMARY:  The third of five daughters, Miss Mary Bennet is a rather unremarkable girl. With her countenance being somewhere between plain and pretty and in possession of no great accomplishments, few expect the third Bennet daughter to attract a respectable man. But although she is shy and would much prefer to keep her nose stuck in a book, Mary is uncertain she wants to meekly follow the path to spinsterhood set before her.

Determined that Mary should have a chance at happiness, the elder Bennet sisters concoct a plan. Lizzy invites Mary to visit at Pemberley, hoping to give her sister a place to grow and make new acquaintances. But it is only when Mary strikes out independently that she can attempt to become accomplished in her own right. And in a family renowned for its remarkable Misses, Mary Bennet may turn out to be the most wholly unexpected of them all.

REVIEWER COMMENTS:  A spin-off of Pride and Prejudice, focusing on Elisabeth Bennet’s shy and bookish sister, Mary. We are introduced to Mary in P&P as obsessed with piano playing and sermons, and a little out of touch with the reality of the time. In this novel, she blossoms into an independent young woman who develops likes and dislikes of her own and while still maintaining her love for books and her devotion to her faith, she opens up to new possibilities, friendships, and eventually a love interest. I very much enjoyed the narrative, which is very close to an original Jane Austen, and the author’s ability to develop Mary into a likable character. However, the romance component takes a backside, and much unloved characters are developed further here, which I did not enjoy. Why page after page of Mr. Collins and Catherine de Bourgh’s ridiculous rants, and Lydia and Wickham’s mishaps, instead of more Mary, P&P more beloved characters, and new interesting ones?

SEXUAL CONTENT: None

ADULT LANGUAGE: None

*Conclusion:  Overall, a clean and enjoyable regency fiction with a pinch of romance. I would still recommend this book!

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