Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Match for Mary Bennet by Eucharista Ward

This is the phenomenon I'm talking about! This book was originally published in '07 by Outskirts Press under the name Illusions and Ignorance: Mary Bennett's Story and now Sourcebooks has picked it up and re-released it under the new tittle (which, while it doesn't fit the story quite as well, will probably generate better search results) at the beginning of the month. How exciting for Ms. Ward! I've read this book at least three times and it's one of my favorite sequels - I love the redemption of Mary's character. At the beginning of the novel she is the Mary we all know and groan at but through a very believable chain of perspective changing events she blossoms into a full fledged Austen heroine, deserving of a love-match reward. This book partly inspired my own handling of Mary Bennet though I must admit I wasn't nearly as sympathetic to her as Ms. Ward. Still, I wanted to see her happy. I have only two issues with this book and they are premised (without giving anything away) in the first instance on the amount of freedom of movement woman were allowed in Regency, which here is superseded, and in the second instance on a topic Jane Austen would never cover in such detail, if at all, and that is the horrors of child birth at the time (though from a historical perspective Ms. Ward's account is fascinating). I hope all Jane Austen fans read this book. It really is one of the best. Check it out on Amazon.

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