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The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet Summary and Reviews

The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet

A Novel

by Colleen McCullough

The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCullough X
The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCullough
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  • Published in USA  Dec 2008
    320 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

Everyone knows the story of Elizabeth and Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. But what about their sister Mary? At the conclusion of Jane Austen's classic novel, Mary, bookish, awkward, and by all accounts, unmarriageable, is sentenced to a dull, provincial existence in the backwaters of Britain.

Now, master storyteller Colleen McCullough rescues Mary from her dreary fate with The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet, a page-turning sequel set twenty years after Austen's novel closes. The story begins as the neglected Bennet sister is released from the stultifying duty of caring for her insufferable mother. Though many would call a woman of Mary's age a spinster, she has blossomed into a beauty to rival that of her famed sisters. Her violet eyes and perfect figure bewitch the eligible men in the neighborhood, but though her family urges her to marry, romance and frippery hold no attraction. Instead, she is determined to set off on an adventure of her own. Fired with zeal by the newspaper letters of the mysterious Argus, she resolves to publish a book about the plight of England's poor. Plunging from one predicament into another, Mary finds herself stumbling closer to long-buried secrets, unanticipated dangers, and unlooked-for romance.

Meanwhile, the other dearly loved characters of Pride and Prejudice fret about the missing Mary while they contend with difficulties of their own. Darcy's political ambitions consume his ardor, and he bothers with Elizabeth only when the impropriety of her family seems to threaten his career. Lydia, wild and charming as ever, drinks and philanders her way into dire straits; Kitty, a young widow of means, occupies herself with gossip and shopping; and Jane, naïve and trusting as ever, spends her days ministering to her crop of boys and her adoring, if not entirely faithful, husband. Yet, with the shadowy and mysterious figure of Darcy's right-hand man, Ned Skinner, lurking at every corner, it is clear that all is not what it seems at idyllic Pemberley. As the many threads of McCullough's masterful plot come together, shocking truths are revealed, love, both old and new, is tested, and all learn the value of true independence in a novel for every woman who has wanted to leave her mark on the world.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

'McCullough's...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." - Publishers Weekly.

"What can I say? If you think about this and Pride and Prejudice as being completely independent - different characters with the same name etc, then you might just like it. If you can’t do that, then you will hate it (and rightly so .... The best I can say is that it’s not bad as a trashy regency novel." - JaneAustenReviews.com.

The information about The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Colleen McCullough Author Biography

Author photograph by Catherine Karnow

Colleen McCullough was born in Australia. A neurophysiologist, she established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. In 1963 she moved to the United Kingdom where she met the chairman of the neurology department at Yale University at the Great Ormond Street hospital in London, who offered her a research associate job at Yale. McCullough spent ten years researching and teaching in the Department of Neurology at the Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut. In the late 1970s she settled on Norfolk Island in the Pacific, where she met her husband, Ric Robinson, to whom she has been married since 1983. She now lives in Sydney.

Her writing career began with the publication of Tim, followed by The Thorn Birds, a record-breaking ...

... Full Biography

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