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Publisher's Summary

It is a sad fact of life that if a young woman is unlucky enough to come into the world without expectations, she had better do all she can to ensure she is born beautiful. To be handsome and poor is misfortune enough; but to be both plain and penniless is a hard fate indeed.

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mary is the middle of the five Bennet girls and the plainest of them all, so what hope does she have? Prim and pious, with no redeeming features, she is unloved and seemingly unlovable.

The Other Bennet Sister shows another side to Mary. An introvert in a family of extroverts, a constant disappointment to her mother, who values beauty above all else, fearful of her father’s sharp tongue, with little in common with her siblings - is it any wonder she turns to books for both company and guidance? And, if she finds her life lonely or lacking, that she determines to try harder at the one thing she can be: right.

One by one, her sisters marry - Jane and Lizzy for love, Lydia for some semblance of respectability - but Mary, it seems, is destined to remain single and live out her life at Longbourn, at least until her father dies and the house is bequeathed to the reviled Mr Collins.

But when that fateful day finally comes, she slowly discovers that perhaps there is hope for her after all. 

Simultaneously a wonderfully warm homage to Jane Austen and a delightful new story in its own right, Janice Hadlow's The Other Bennet Sister is, at its heart, a life-affirming tale of a young woman finding her place in the world. Witty and uplifting, it will make you feel - and cheer - for Mary as you never have before.

©2019 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd (P)2019 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd 2019

What listeners say about The Other Bennet Sister

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Great book but man, it made me feel things

I wasn't prepared to relate to Mary as much as I did. I was emotionally invested in the book & had to put it down, go away and find something cheerful again before continuing. It's well written, well performed & made me so grateful that women's rights have evolved from what they had been like. Things are still far from ideal for women these days but at least we have more freedom than back then to make our own way in this world.

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Thoroughly enjoyable

I really enjoyed this audio book. It is very much in keeping with Jane Austin's style and true to the story of Pride and Prejudice. It is wonderful to have an account told from Mary's perspective and to have a sequel of sorts.
If you enjoyed Pride and Prejudice, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. I love the language that is used and it was very well read.
I could listen to it all again.

2 people found this helpful

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reads like a work of austen

loved it, it felt like austen's work. occasionally there was a direct quote from pride and prejudice in a strange spot and one continuity error from the original book but these are small complaints for a very good story

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Insightful and satisfying

While staying true to the characters, Janice Hadlow developed them and the story beautifully. I couldn’t stop listening. The performance by Kristin Atherton was masterful. For lovers of Jane Austin , this book is a must read.

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Brilliant

Though technically fanfic, this tale embodies the wit and humour of Miss Austen completely. I’ve never before seen myself in a character so much, this definitely made me far more invested in her future within the story. Well done, a new favourite for sure

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Absorbing book

This was a truly wonderful story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The descriptions are detailed sufficiently to enable the reader to employ their imagination without tedium.
Mrs Bennett was performed brilliantly. Very similarly to the actress who portrays her in the Movie. Well done to Janice. I would love to read more of her work.

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Must listen for Jane Austen fans!

I really enjoyed this book, as I am a die hard fan of Austen and Pride and Prejudice is definitely my favourite. It was so well written, from Mary’s perspective. It also showed a different side of the Bennet family, not necessarily a good one. This has added an extra layer of what it meant to be a woman in the 1800’s, especially if you were not the most beautiful or accomplished.
Excellent!

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Delightful

Great extension of Pride and Prejudice. Often these novels are fairly awful but this is the exception to the rule. Thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to more work by Ms Hadlow.
Great narration too

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Very Happy!

For lovers of Pride and Prejudice. The story was very engaging and I couldn't stop listening. Highly recommended.

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Really Lovely

I was so happy to reconnect with Mary Bennet, and learn of her life from her perspective. She was overshadowed by her sisters in Pride and Prejudice, so I was very happy for her outcome, and the path she took to achieve it.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 27-07-2020

Just like Jane Austen, only more compassionate!

l love this book so much!
Sounds exactly like Jane Austen. Mary's journey from timidity/hopelessness to triumph is very touching.
The narrator is amazing too!
Her voice is really versatile.

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  • Vaan
  • 27-04-2020

Too long

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a sequel to a classic novel should not be longer than the original. I enjoyed it but it is in need of a good editor.

37 people found this helpful

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  • H W Giddens
  • 03-04-2020

The complete Bennet story

Loved this book. Really well written in the style of Austen. Really believable. The narrator was superb and Mrs Bennet sounded so much like Alison Steadman from the BBC production that it brought it even more to life. I can thoroughly recommend it and as I was gardening throughout, it made me spend longer in the garden than I should have!

31 people found this helpful

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  • Oilibhia
  • 16-06-2020

Very enjoyable!

Completely enjoyed this! Always wondered what happened to Mary and this book shows the evolution of Mary, she starts as a sad, closed off woman and evolves into a happy woman secure in herself. Ended up being so happy for her!
Must also congratulate the narrator, the way she read the book really helps the story - she reads in the beginning in a sharp, biting tone, showing Mary's upset but as the book goes on her tone softens as Mary does. I do think her narration helps you realise and understand the pain she felt and how she changes.

19 people found this helpful

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  • V. O'Regan
  • 13-01-2020

Perfection

This was just perfect and was so well crafted a novel that captures the ambiance of the original

18 people found this helpful

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  • Alison
  • 08-02-2020

Here’s to Mary!

I enjoyed this so much. To begin with it is a very clever parallel to a plot we know well from Pride and Prejudice. It then continues on from where that plot ends and gathers a huge momentum, with hugely enjoyable insights into life during that period en route. Very clever and well done. I will read or watch P&P very differently next time.

The narrator I felt got Mary just right.

17 people found this helpful

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  • miss e m aguero
  • 10-02-2021

I love and hate this book in equal measures

Pride and prejudice is one of my fave stories ever and this book is brilliant in how it revisits some of the fringe characters and brings them alive - Mr Collins, Charlotte, Aunt Gardiner and Miss Bingly, I just adore what the author has done with them - 5 stars. And the narrator does great voices for them, very a lá bbc dramatisation which is epic. The new characters are enjoyable too, as is the deeper look into the lives of ordinary people living in those times. But Mary! She is such a stupid, stupid individual. She seems to learn nothing from her experiences. She was merely irritating in part 1. But in part 2, how she behaves with Mr Rider generally, won't speak up or confide in her aunt and gets the hump with Mr Heyward when she is no better GRRRRR! The book is 3 hours longer than it needs to be because of her stupidity - seriously, I feel like pushing Mary off the top of bloody Scarfell. I am almost tempted not to listen to the last 3 hours because Mary doesnt deserve a happy ending. But I will, because everything in this book, apart from Mary, is fabulous! UPDATE: once she had suffered for two long months, and made me suffer along with her, Mary finally learned to say what she was thinking and was much less annoying. Story had lovely ending :)

12 people found this helpful

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  • Anthea
  • 17-10-2020

Novel concept, but so looooooong winded!

Not the first writer to do a Pride and Pred sequel this one is told from the point of view of the most minor Bennet sister - Mary. Ms Hadlow attempts to take a 2D character 3D. She makes a valiant stab at fleshing out the character pre the original novel, touches base where we see her in Austin’s master piece and then moves her life onwards to its own satisfactory, but predictable conclusion. On the way Mary encounters supporting characters from the original book. (Charlotte Lucas has morphed into a bit of a manipulative cow - nice touch), but the whole thing drags and lurches through the plot at snails pace which is a pity. One saving grace is the fabulous narrator whose range of vocals almost had me thinking some of the female actors from the famous BBC production of 1995 were actually speaking.

12 people found this helpful

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  • GrandGennetay
  • 23-11-2020

utter rubbish

Background noise to fall asleep to. A real disappointment. Not worth the money/listening time. dreadful.

7 people found this helpful

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  • chan
  • 21-07-2020

disappointing

I was really excited to listen to this , especially as a review said it was written in an Austen like way.
Unfortunately I found it really dull and gave up in chapter 5. The Narrator is very lucklustre and not very lively apart from when she reads Mrs Bennets parts.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs A. Thomason
  • 28-10-2020

Long winded but well narrated

I enjoyed the sorry but felt that it cut have been much better if it was shorter. I appreciated Mary’s transformation but I felt her morose nature in the first half of the story was very heavy handed. Mrs Bennett’s character was very two dimensional and entirely lacked any of the depth that comes across in P&P, I also felt the same for Mr Darcy, Lizzy and Jane.

Overall I enjoyed the story but I don’t imagine I would listen to it again.

4 people found this helpful

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