Several years ago, I decided to read Jane Austen’s novels. Over the course of a year, I enjoyed them all. Like many Austen fans, I have a special fondness for the Bennet sisters from Pride and Prejudice. Since first reading this classic, I have reread the book and experienced the story through the BBC movie many times. I am not alone in my interest. In the last few years, a renewed fascination with Jane Austen has led to an increase in the number of novels based on her works. Whether they are continuations of the original stories or present-day tales that involve Austen in some way, books connected to Austen are more popular than ever.
In The Unexpected Miss Bennet, author Patrice Sarath provides readers with the opportunity to visit Jane, Lizzy, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia one more. As the story opens, Jane and Bingley are living in London, Lizzy and Darcy are at Pemberley, and Lydia is far away, banished with Wickham. Kitty and Mary are left at home. Kitty is interested in society and eager to enter London’s social scene with the help of Jane, but shy Mary is not expected to follow suit. Although she prefers piano and books to balls and suitors, Mary worries about life as a spinster. Determined to give Mary a chance at happiness, Lizzy invites Mary to Pemberley for a season. During this time, Mary explores an independence that is new to her. As she learns about herself and her own desires, Mary surprises everyone, including well-known characters such as Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
The Unexpected Miss Bennet is a delightful continuation of Pride and Prejudice. At times, I felt that the author tried to copy Miss Austen’s style too closely (and who can truly copy Jane Austen?), but reading the novel felt like a visit with old friends. When I think of the Bennet sisters as depticted by Jane Austen, Mary and Kitty are the least memorable. I enjoyed following along as Patrice Sarath developed Mary into an accomplished young woman. I appreciated that most of the characters from Pride and Prejudice appeared in the tale, some with more prominent roles, and I thought the new characters added to the appeal as well.
The weather is colder–it is the perfect time to snuggle with a good book. The Unexpected Miss Bennet is a wonderful choice, and it would make a great gift for an Austen fan.
We have a copy to give away to one of you (U.S. and Canadian addresses eligible). Please leave a comment if you’d like to win. We’ll announce the winner in our giveaway column on December 14.
The winner of Hurry Less, Worry Less at Christmas is #6 Joy. If you didn’t win I (Jennifer) highly recommend that you buy this short but sweet guide paperback or ebook.
Don’t miss a thing: Check out our current giveaways. Subscribe to our feed or video reviews on YouTube. Follow us @5M4B on Twitter or on Facebook.
Lauren is a wife, mother of two, and an avid reader. She thanks Penguin Group for the review copy of this book. Lauren blogs at Baseballs and Bows.
The number of Austen spin offs has astounded me. Learned today that even P.D. James has written one. I think, however, I would prefer a continuation in Austen’s vein. Thanks for the chance to have The Unexpected Miss Bennet.
Lisa writes... says
A big fan of dear Jane and her novels! I would love an opportunity to win this one. Thanks!
Jen E says
I’d love to read this!
Interesting! Most of the spin-offs I see continue the story of Elizabeth and Darcy and their children. I like the idea of continuing the story of Mary and Kitty!
I am a huge Jane Austen fan! I would love this book! Thank you for the giveaway!
Rica berg says
Love Jane Austin..Would love a copy of this book!
Pride and Predjudice is one of my all-time favorite novels…I’d love to read something that imagines more of the characters’ lives.
I do love Pride and Prejudice .. would love to get a copy of this book!
This sounds like a nice story 🙂
Beth C says
I’d like to snuggle down with a good book these cold days. Please enter me. Thanks!
Some Lucky Dog says
I’d love to read this one!
someluckydog at gmail dot com
Would like to win this book.
Susan Audrey says
One of my goals in 2012 is to read more classics and the recently written sequels and spin-offs. Would love to win this one to go with my project!
Angela E. says
Should be an interesting story line to read, Thanks
I adore Jane Austin-thanks for the chance
Her books are amazing to read!
Ginny at Random Acts of Momness says
Count me in! Thank you!
Beth C says
Love to read this! Thanks!
You won! Please reply to this email message with your address, and we’ll have it shipped out to you.
I know I would enjoy this book…Jane is a fav author of mine, thanks.
I haven’t read any of the modern takes on Jane Austen, but I’d like to give this one a try.
Christine Jensen says
OOh, this sounds like a fun spin that hasn’t been done before! I would love to win a copy!
Bet my wife would like to read this one.
I’ll let my wife read this one.
WOULD LOVE THIS BOOK
nannypanpan at gmail.com
My girlfriend will read this one, for sure.
Ah, I love Austen books, so no doubt I’ll enjoy this as well. Thanks for the giveaway!