One of our recommended books for 2020 is The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow

THE OTHER BENNET SISTER

A Novel


Mary, the bookish ugly duckling of Pride and Prejudice’s five Bennet sisters, emerges from the shadows and transforms into a desired woman with choices of her own.

What if Mary Bennet’s life took a different path from that laid out for her in Pride and Prejudice? What if the frustrated intellectual of the Bennet family, the marginalized middle daughter, the plain girl who takes refuge in her books, eventually found the fulfillment enjoyed by her prettier, more confident sisters? This is the plot of Janice Hadlow’s The Other Bennet Sister,

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Mary, the bookish ugly duckling of Pride and Prejudice’s five Bennet sisters, emerges from the shadows and transforms into a desired woman with choices of her own.

What if Mary Bennet’s life took a different path from that laid out for her in Pride and Prejudice? What if the frustrated intellectual of the Bennet family, the marginalized middle daughter, the plain girl who takes refuge in her books, eventually found the fulfillment enjoyed by her prettier, more confident sisters? This is the plot of Janice Hadlow’s The Other Bennet Sister, a debut novel with exactly the affection and authority to satisfy Jane Austen fans.

Ultimately, Mary’s journey is like that taken by every Austen heroine. She learns that she can only expect joy when she has accepted who she really is. She must throw off the false expectations and wrong ideas that have combined to obscure her true nature and prevented her from what makes her happy. Only when she undergoes this evolution does she have a chance at finding fulfillment; only then does she have the clarity to recognize her partner when he presents himself—and only at that moment is she genuinely worthy of love.

Mary’s destiny diverges from that of her sisters. It does not involve broad acres or landed gentry. But it does include a man; and, as in all Austen novels, Mary must decide whether he is the truly the one for her. In The Other Bennet Sister, Mary is a fully rounded character—complex, conflicted, and often uncertain; but also vulnerable, supremely sympathetic, and ultimately the protagonist of an uncommonly satisfying debut novel.

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  • Henry Holt and Co.
  • Hardcover
  • March 2020
  • 480 Pages
  • 9781250129413

Buy the Book

$27.99

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About Janice Hadlow

Janice Hadlow is the author of The Other Bennet SisterJanice Hadlow worked at the BBC for more than two decades, and for ten of those years she ran BBC Two and BBC Four, two of the broadcaster’s major television channels. She was educated at Swanley School in Kent and graduated with a first class degree in history from King’s college, London. She is the author of A Royal Experiment, a biography of Great Britain’s King George III. She currently lives in Edinburgh. The Other Bennet Sister is her first novel.

Praise

“An immersive and engaging new version of a familiar world . . . at once true to the source material and to life . . . Hadlow’s great achievement is to shift our sympathies so completely that . . . it’s difficult not to race through those final pages, desperate to know if [Mary] will, after all, be allowed—will allow herself—a happy ending.” —Jo Baker, The Guardian

“Debut novelist Hadlow manages it with aplomb…. [writing] with sensitivity, emotional clarity, and a quiet edge of social criticism Austen would have relished. Entertaining and thoroughly engrossing.” Kirkus (starred review)

“Gorgeous. . . . [The Other Bennet Sister] is a wonderfully, warm, comforting read—perfect on a winter’s night.” The Sun (UK)

“Impeccably researched, this lifts Mary from obscurity, as she breaks out of her mother’s world and follows her own path.” —Daily Mail

“A heroine that even Ms. Austin would approve of. A treat for—and for anyone else who likes their fiction to have sense and sensibility.” —Daisy Goodwin, New York Times bestselling author of The American Heiress and Victoria

“Jane fans rejoice! I loved this thoroughly estimable, worthy homage to Austen. Exceptional storytelling and a true delight.” —Helen Simonson, author of the New York Times bestselling novels Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Summer Before the War

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