Lizzy Bennet married Mr Darcy, Jane Bennet married Mr Bingley - but what became of the middle daughter, Mary? Discover what came next in the lives and loves of Jane Austen's much loved Bennet family in this Pride and Prejudice spin-off from an international bestselling author Readers of Pride and Prejudice will remember that there were five ...
Lizzy Bennet married Mr Darcy, Jane Bennet married Mr Bingley - but what became of the middle daughter, Mary? Discover what came next in the lives and loves of Jane Austen's much loved Bennet family in this Pride and Prejudice spin-off from an international bestselling author Readers of Pride and Prejudice will remember that there were five Bennet sisters. Now, twenty years on, Jane has a happy marriage and large family; Lizzy and Mr Darcy now have a formidable social reputation; Lydia has a reputation of quite another kind; Kitty is much in demand in London's parlours and ballrooms; but what of Mary? Mary is quietly celebrating her independence, having nursed her ailing mother for many years. She decides to write a book to bring the plight of the poor to everyone's attention. But with more resolve than experience, as she sets out to travel around the country, it's not only her family who are concerned about her. Marriage may be far from her mind, but what if she were to meet the one man whose own fiery articles infuriate the politicians and industrialists? And if when she starts to ask similar questions, she unwittingly places herself in great danger?
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Imagine an author, Colleen McCullough, whose bestsellers have made her rich and famous. Imagine another author, Jane Austen, whose novels did not make her rich and who became famous only decades after her death. This author inspires a booming industry 200 years later that makes a profit for other authors who have been busily spinning off sequels and prequels.
Whatever impulse made Colleen McCullough jump on the Jane Austen bandwagon should have remained inside of her. This novel purports to be about Mary Bennet, the least pretty or interesting of the Bennet sisters. The book placed Darcy's and Elizabeth's marriage in jeopardy, turned Jane Bingley into a breedow sow, and made an independent spirit of Mary. Lacking any of Jane Austen's light touch or wit, the plot plods along.
Had this book been another Colleen McCullough contribution, with the association to Pride and Prejudice erased, it would have stood on its own as a brand new creation that was not beholden to another author. As it stands, the characters that appear in this uninteresting tale in no way give off even a whiff of a resemblance to Jane Austen's characters or the future she had envisioned for them.
I don't need happily ever afters in my books. Still, the cynicism that went behind this production is breathtaking - the publisher and McCullough probably raked in a great deal of cash before the public realized that this was a cash rip off, not an homage to Jane.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-10-27 McCullough's (The Thorn Birds) sequel to Pride and Prejudice vaults the characters of the original into a ridiculously bizarre world, spinning dizzily among plot lines until it finally crashes to a close. The novel begins 20 years after Austen's classic ends, with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy trapped in a passionless marriage, Jane a spineless baby machine, Lydia an alcoholic tramp, Kitty a cheerfully vapid widow and Mary a naOve feminist and social crusader. Shrewish Mrs. Bennet's death frees Mary from her caretaker duties, and, inspired by the writings of a crusading journalist, Mary sets off to document the plight of England's poor. Along the way, she is abused, robbed and imprisoned by the prophet of a cave-dwelling cult. Darcy is the book's villain, and he busies himself with hushing up the Bennet clan's improprieties in service of his political career. His dirty work is carried out by Ned Skinner, whose odd devotion to Darcy drives his exploits, the nastiest of which involves murder. McCullough lacks Austen's gently reproving good humor, making the family's adventures into a mannered spaghetti western with a tacked-on, albeit Austenesque, happy ending. (Jan.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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