My reading list has been a bit all over—fantasy, contemporary, poetry, scifi. I definitely like to mix it up. My latest find I can’t stop talking about with my girlfriends. Unlike Nyxia Unleased that I could hand to my husband, Mary B by Katherine J. Chen is a complete genre flip. Mary B is the retelling of Pride and Prejudice from Mary Bennet’s perspective. It is a completely delightful reimagining of Austen’s best work. For all you Jane Austen fans, you need to read Mary B.
More About Mary B
Mary Bennet is such a boring, uptight, shy sister that I’m still not sure why she’s included in the original work by Jane Austen, because she doesn’t quite contribute to the plot or family. Mary B puts this dry toast character in the spotlight and she’s quite funny. You probably didn’t know this but Mary B has been in love at least three times. And her attentions toward Mr. Collins still make me giggle. Who doesn’t want to read why Mary chose Slumber Dear Maid to perform at the party and how she thought she smashed her performance?
Mary B is a refreshing reimagining of the classic and would be a great read for a book club that adores Pride and Prejudice. I have half a mind to send this book to my mother and sisters and then have a Pride and Prejudice day where we put our hair in ribbons, discuss the book, watch the movie, and eat crumpets.
Why I enjoyed Mary B
Lydia and Kitty are the worst. As fickle and obnoxious as they are in the original story, Lydia and Kitty torture, abuse, and tease sweet dull Mary. They really are the antagonists in the story and I’m still dreaming of the novel where these two meet a more fitting end.
Mr. Collins is a fine catch for Mary. It’s tragic that he doesn’t return her affections. As Mary futilely attempts to encourage Mr. Collins, we learn more of his character, his relationship to Lady Catherine and what Mary really thinks of The Fordyce’s Sermons.
Mary is a strong, likable, independent woman. She proves you don’t need a man to be happy. And when the story goes beyond the original classic, you root for Mary as she tries to find her place. While Pride and Prejudice romanticizes the period, Mary B offers an honest perspective of what it would be like to live in Austen’s time.
Seriously, if you consider yourself even just a mild Austen fan, you need to read Mary B. It will have you laughing and enjoying the original story from a frumpy, dull sister’s perspective. Although get ready for a great discussion because Chen doesn’t hold back in her feminist view. Get your girlfriends together and have a Mary B night.
You can buy Mary B now on Amazon. And honestly, I would put Mary B on any Austen fan’s Christmas wishlist. (It’s a sickness that I start shopping for Christmas now, but I want to enjoy December—not stress it. You see the logic, right?) I can gift it to my Mother-in-law with an adorably Austen teacup for the win. See what I just did? You get a book to put on your TBR and a perfect Christmas present idea for your significant other’s mum. Twofer.