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Publisher's Summary

"Jane fans rejoice!.... Exceptional storytelling and a true delight." (Helen Simonson, author of the New York Times best-selling novels Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and The Summer Before the War)

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. 

Library Journal Best Books of the Year - 2020

Christian Science Monitor Best Books of the Year - 2020

A Macmillan Audio production from Henry Holt and Company 

©2020 Janice Hadlow (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

Library Journal Best Books of the Year 2020

Christian Science Monitor Best Books of the Year 2020

What listeners say about The Other Bennet Sister

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Exhausting

This book was exhausting. While it had the potential to be a really good story it was, instead, incredibly long and filled with angst and repeated failure on the main character’s part to follow her instincts and common sense to avoid making stupid decisions and misjudgments. I forced myself to finish it. But I certainly would not reread or recommend it.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Jane Austen purists take note!

A pitch-perfect take on Austen's Pride and Prejudice; this is the story Mary Bennet deserves.

8 people found this helpful

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As an Austen fan, I loved this story!

Janice Hadlow somehow manages to carry the same feel as an Austen novel but tell a completely fresh story. I loved the journey of self discovery that Mary embarks on and the insightful way the author brings to light the plight of being the overlooked child in a large family. I will be adding it to my rotation of favorite books.

7 people found this helpful

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I loved it

Janice Hadlow is obviously a fan of Jane Austen, and loves Pride and Prejudice.
In The Other Bennet Sister, Ms. Hadlow expertly took the severe, misunderstood, and forgettable character Mary Bennet and breathed life into her.
It was a joy to watch Mary become her own person. And to watch her on her journey to find self love, familial love, and romantic love, which she has always yearned for.
I am so grateful that I found this book.
I enjoyed every minute of it.

7 people found this helpful

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Saving the Best for Last

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Mary Bennet, with neither physical beauty or a lively manner, was a figure of ridicule and pity; priggish burdened with intellectual and musical pretensions that exceeded her meager talents. I am happy to report that “The Other Bennet Sister” not only recasts the bookish, self-doubting Mary Bennet as a heroine with a generous nature, the audiobook (and novel) casts the more favored sisters Jane and Elizabeth as being kindly towards “poor Mary” but still overshadowing her and relegating her insignificance. I rooted for Mary once she stepped from the shadows of her more pyrotechnic sisters and bloomed in her own right. Perhaps there is a universal lesson for us all in the dangers of comparing ourselves to others at the sacrifice of appreciating and developing our unique qualities.

Carla Mendonca’s voice was mellifluous. I cannot recommend this audiobook highly enough.

5 people found this helpful

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Jane would be proud

Great story, great reader. Long and satisfying. Didn't want it to end. Most highly recommended.

5 people found this helpful

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A good journey

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It takes the reader inside our unconventional heroine's mind, and one can see the the effect of the mental abuse of the mother and the neglect of her remote father on her psyche and her journey to self love and acceptance under the nurturing care of her aunt and uncle . She is able to feel worthy of love and is surprised to find herself deserving of romantic love.

3 people found this helpful

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A must read for all Jane Austen fans...

All about Mary Bennet, written in that familiar Jane Austen style. Witty and funny...captivating yet calm enough to be a comfort read. I adored it!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lt
  • 04-23-20

If you like Jane Austin, you will like this

I think the author did a great job sounding like Austin. The reader did a great performance. The story was endearing

2 people found this helpful

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The Other Bennet Sister

I loved this book ! It’s great it’s from Mary’s point of view! Well done ! Great!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mel
  • 03-13-22

Really Marvelous

I love this book - it's my second time listening. The author did a wonderful job of making it believable & of the time period while also developing Mary's character very satisfactorily, and giving us some interesting & fresh perspectives on the original Pride & Prejudice. Definitely some very feminist leanings! And the narrator was excellent - she voiced everyone differently & with great expression, her pacing was perfect, and her diction was clear. Truly entertaining & satisfying.