Eucharista Ward O.S.F.’s A Match for Mary Bennet: Can a serious young lady ever find her way to love? is delightful and reminiscent of the regency craftswoman Jane Austen herself. The novel’s pace is dead on, unfurling Mary Bennet’s character slowly, allowing readers to sit with her, getting to know her mind, her choices and motivations, and her true heart’s desire.
“‘I fell asleep in Inferno, and the candle went out. I awoke in Purgatorio. But all the light is on now. I have found Paradiso.'” (Page 323 of ARC)
With her older sisters, Jane and Elizabeth married to Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, and her youngest sister, Lydia, married off to Mr. Wickham, Mary and Catherine Bennet are left at home with their meddling mother, eager to marry them off. Mary continues her ways of sitting alone with her books and her music, content to expand her mind rather than chase after men in society.
“‘You sat so creep mouse in a corner with, of all things, a book! What a way to comport yourself at a dance! Why, you might as well scream to all the world that no man is good enough for you. . . .'” (Page vi of ARC)
Despite her shyness and unconscious judgment of others, Mary comes to learn there is more to life than just books and music, though they certainly enhance her journey and even direct her ultimate place in society. Readers will revisit with Mr. & Mrs. Darcy and Mr. & Mrs. Bingley following their marriages and how Mary perceives their married lives. Lydia, Mr. Wickham, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, her daugher, and Kitty Bennet return as well. But there are new characters to love and dislike from the new pastor Mr. Oliver to the odd Mr. Grantley and the musical Mr. Stilton.
Ward lives in Austen’s world, manipulates language easily to emulate regency England, and expands the characterizations sketched out in Pride and Prejudice: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) without losing Austen’s vision. However, Ward’s Mary Bennet is more than the thinly sketched, judgmental, religious, bookworm on the sidelines. She is observant, knowledgeable, and deeply committed to her family and her faith. Overall, readers will find A Match for Mary Bennet fills out the other Bennet sisters deftly and makes a perfect addition to any Austen lovers’ collection.
Sourcebooks has kindly offered 1 copy of A Match for Mary Bennet: Can a serious young lady ever find her way to love? by Eucharista Ward O.S.F. for a U.S./Canada reader. To Enter:
1. Leave a comment here about why you want to read about Mary Bennet or what your first impressions of her were when you first read Pride & Prejudice.
2. Blog, Tweet, Facebook, or spread the word about the giveaway and leave me a comment.
Deadline is October 16, 2009 at 11:59PM EST
This is my 4th item for the Everything Austen Challenge 2009.