Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Mary B
Mary B: A Novel | Katherine Chen
28 posts | 17 read | 42 to read
The overlooked middle sister in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice casts off her prim exterior and takes center stage in this fresh retelling of the classic novel. I will tell you the story of how I knew myself to be plain and therefore devoid of the one virtue which it behooves every woman to have. What is to be done with Mary Bennet? She possesses neither the beauty of her eldest sister, Jane, nor the high-spirited charm of second-born Lizzy. Even compared to her frivolous younger siblings, Kitty and Lydia, Mary knows she is lacking in the ways that matter for single, not-so-well-to-do women in nineteenth-century England who must secure their futures through the finding of a husband. As her sisters wed, one by one, Mary pictures herself growing old, a spinster with no estate to run or children to mind, dependent on the charity of others. At least she has the silent rebellion and secret pleasures of reading and writing to keep her company. But even her fictional creations are no match for the scandal, tragedy, and romance that eventually visit Mary's own life. In Mary B, readers are transported beyond the center of the ballroom to discover that wallflowers are sometimes the most intriguing guests at the party. Beneath Mary's plain appearance and bookish demeanor simmers an inner life brimming with passion, humor, and imagination--and a voice that demands to be heard. Set before, during, and after the events of Pride and Prejudice, Katherine J. Chen's vividly original debut novel pays homage to a beloved classic while envisioning a life that is difficult to achieve in any era: that of a truly independent woman.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
blurb
BookishMarginalia
Mary B: A Novel | Katherine Chen
post image

This one has taken some interesting turns 👀👀👀

118 likes2 stack adds
blurb
WanderingBookaneer
Mary B: A Novel | Katherine Chen
post image

Lunch date with my beloved, @BookishMarginalia at our non-book-related happy place, Artisan Cheese Company in Sarasota.

Cinfhen Nice photo 💜 3mo
MelissaSue81 Artisan cheese company sounds ah-May-zing! 3mo
114 likes4 comments
blurb
BookishMarginalia
Mary B: A Novel | Katherine Chen
post image

Awaiting lunch at another one of our happy places: The Artisan Cheese Company in Sarasota. (Ginger beer, yum!)

Aussie4paws Yummy 🙌 3mo
138 likes3 stack adds1 comment
blurb
WanderingBookaneer
Mary B: A Novel | Katherine Chen
post image

#TrickyCat snuck into the bedroom!

blurb
BookishMarginalia
Mary B: A Novel | Katherine Chen
post image

#CurrentView - Lazy Saturday continues!

Gissy Let me know how is that book! It is in my wish list! 3mo
Latrelwhite Good historical read. It was Barnes & Nobles Book Club pick last month. 3mo
150 likes2 comments
blurb
BookishMarginalia
post image

After dinner coffee and dessert with book.

Freespirit Looks lovely! 4mo
catebutler Looks delicious! 4mo
Shuga I'm jealous that I don't have an invite. Enjoy. 4mo
Factaddict73 I cannot read books of this sort..... as an empath, I internalize EVERYTHING too much, and have (somewhat intentionally) not erected barriers to input. I‘ve walked out of stores almost in tears after following people in line at a checkout that were having a discussion about something, not aware that “people,” could hear their discussion. It is not up to me to interfere in the lives of the entire central TX population with observations/suggestions. 4mo
167 likes1 stack add4 comments
blurb
BookishMarginalia
post image

In Orlando for a conference that starts tomorrow. Getting some reading done at the hotel before dinner.

alysonwrites Ooh that sounds interesting! I‘ve always felt like Mary Bennett got no respect. 4mo
123 likes6 stack adds1 comment
review
RealLifeReading
post image
Mehso-so

When I found this on the library's "new books" shelves, I was intrigued. Why would anyone write a novel with Mary Bennet as the main character? She‘s preachy, serious, plain. It starts out rather charmingly seeing the P&P plot from Mary‘s POV but as Chen imagines a future for the Bennets, she treads shaky ground. It's never easy retelling (& extending) a beloved story and this is an especially beloved one.

merelybookish Interesting! Did you read Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, an update of P&P. By the end, I felt she should have made Mary the protagonist. 5mo
RealLifeReading This is for #popsugarchallenge - retelling of a classic 5mo
See All 7 Comments
RealLifeReading @merelybookish somehow I haven‘t read that yet although I‘ve read most of Sittenfeld‘s books! Now I‘ll have to go read it! 😀 5mo
merelybookish @RealLifeReading It's my least favorite Sittenfeld. But I'll be interested to hear what you think! 5mo
Cinfhen I agree, retellings are tricky business although I did like this one - a Jewish take on Wharton‘s An Age Of Innocence 5mo
112 likes7 comments
blurb
RealLifeReading
post image

I was a bit worried when I started reading this book that takes in the world of P&P from the perspective of Mary, whom really never interested me at all. Also it has pretty bad reviews on Goodreads! However I‘m rather enjoying this Mary-centric story and it‘s really quite charming.

Ravenclawsbookshelf Adding this to my tbr just cause she's never really interested me all that much either. 5mo
75 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
ThatBookishGal
Mehso-so

Did not enjoy this book like I thought I would. I would actually give it a thumbs down, but the writing itself is not bad. And for the most part, I didn‘t dislike the way Mary was characterized, to me she made a lot of sense. However, I DID NOT like the way the rest of the characters were presented and did not come off as truthful representations of the original P&P.

blurb
BookishMarginalia
post image

Just picked these up for the library today... to add to the 24 I had checked out already... 🤷🏻‍♀️🤓

melbeautyandbooks Of course you did. The other books needed company. 😃🤓 5mo
136 likes1 comment
quote
EmilyChristine
post image

‘But if you are sitting behind your sisters and occupied with a book, it is as if to say to the guest, “I would rather spend time with the litigious husbands, gamblers, and spendthrifts of this novel than with you, dear sir, even if you had no interest in wooing me in the first place.”‘

review
Redjewel_7734
post image
Mehso-so

This was ok. I was excited to see this story from the perspective of Mary, but while enjoyable, I found that the characters seemed to stray too far from Austin‘s for me to like as much as I hoped to. I definitely think it‘s a good book to read, maybe more so for those not too attached to the original, but ultimately I was disappointed with many of the choices Chen made in how she evolved these beloved characters.

review
SW-T
post image
Mehso-so

Pro‘s: I liked that it was a fresh interpretation and a behind the scenes look at the sisters lives and relationships. I also like that Mary became a writer with Darcy‘s publisher friend‘s help.

Con‘s: Most everyone came across as shallow, mean, or selfish. Mary B herself veered between naive romantic and bitter cynic.

Original, but rather bumpy.

review
mariaku21
post image
Mehso-so

There were things I liked and things I didn't but overall Chen provided a really great look into Mary, the overlooked younger sister that is worth reading.

review
DGRachel
post image
Bailedbailed

As I feared, September starts with a bail. The writing is okay, but I‘ve found being inside Mary‘s head to be tedious and dull. I could tolerate the author‘s unpopular characterization of Lizzie, but I draw the line at making Colonel Fitzwilliam an unmitigated jerk. There‘s not enough to enjoy here to keep me going, and just enough to irritate me beyond reason. Poor Mary. I‘d love a GOOD book about her. I even tried switching to audio. Nope.

BookFreakOut I haven't read this one, maybe you've already seen it. 9mo
DGRachel @BookFreakOut I have not, but I will definitely stack it and check it out. Thank you! 9mo
robinb I liked this one but can understand why some won‘t. Sorry it wasn‘t for you, but on to the next great one, right?! 🤷🏻‍♀️😊 9mo
See All 9 Comments
DGRachel @robinb I wonder if it‘s just my current mental state. I was okay, just a little bored, right up until Colonel Fitzwilliam comes to Pemberly. Chen makes him such a boor, and I‘ve always adored his character, that it immediately put my hackles up. I was already on the fence about bailing. I‘m glad you enjoyed it. All books should be enjoyed by someone. 😊 9mo
robinb @DGRachel I actually went into this one a little nervous. I finally just told myself...it‘s fiction, the way one person wants to play around with P&P...it WILL NOT change how I feel about ANYTHING in P&P. I guess it worked! 🤣🤣🤣 I also found her writing beautiful. 9mo
DGRachel @robinb That makes me sad. It really must just be my mood. I rather liked the writing, too, but I also felt bored. I mean, I made it made more than half way through the book. Maybe I‘ll try again another time. 9mo
rubyslippersreads Oh no! I still have this ARC to read. 😕 9mo
DGRachel @rubyslippersreads Read it! Give it a chance. I definitely think it‘s just me, not the book. I‘m in a serious funk. 😔 9mo
robinb @DGRachel No, don‘t feel that way! As I was reading it I thought that it would either be one that folks really like or really don‘t...no gray. Trust your instincts...it probably just wasn‘t for you. I‘ve had those books that everyone seems to gush over and I‘m like “did I miss something?” Reading is about whatever floats your boat (or sinks your ship). 😂😂 Either way, I get something out of it, ya know? 9mo
82 likes9 comments
blurb
EmilyChristine
post image

Just saw an article about this book. Definitely a must read!

blurb
JANEissarilyAUSTENtatious
post image

#JAbookAdaptations

-from Pride and Prejudice, Mary‘s Story

rubyslippersreads I still haven't gotten to this ARC. 10mo
JANEissarilyAUSTENtatious @rubyslippersreads lol, it‘s no longer advanced! 10mo
rubyslippersreads @JANEissarilyAUSTENtatious I know, and I feel very guilty about it. 😏 10mo
13 likes3 comments
review
Linsy
post image
Pickpick

I was very excited for this book. No one‘s ever seen Mary Bennett like this. I was instantly hooked by Chen‘s lively and lyrical writing.

I didn‘t like some of the plot twists, but that has more to do with my obsession with the original than anything else. It‘s impossible for me to be unbiased when it‘s Jane Austen. Careful, Austen fans, she put her own twist on some of our favorite characters!

#JaneAusten #Retelling #NetGalley #BookReview

SharonGoforth Been debating on this one - thanks for the review!! 10mo
Beatlefan129 I also have this waiting for me from Netgalley. Looks interesting 10mo
Bronte_Chintz Ive been wondering whether to give it a go for exactly this reason. Sounds brilliant, but then I love the original! 10mo
See All 15 Comments
Linsy @Bronte_Chintz I had a really good time, particularly in the first third, experiencing well-loved scenes from the original in a different light, but I must admit I wish she‘d gone a different direction. There are certain characters and couples that I just love so much that seeing them twisted around soured my experience somewhat. 10mo
kyraleseberg I enjoyed this one because I love a retelling that shakes things up but I know the die-hard Austen fans may have a coronary over the twists she put on the lives of the Bennet sisters! 10mo
Naomis-shelf You should read The Pursuit of Mary Bennet by Pamela Mingle. That is an excellent Mary Bennet story. 10mo
Bronte_Chintz @Linsy Yeah i figures to make Mary seem good or more interesting it might be at the expense of some well loved characters. I think I still want to give it a go though! 10mo
Bronte_Chintz @Naomis-shelf Thanks for the recommendation! 10mo
Linsy @kyraleseberg Not quite a coronary, but it was hard! I loved seeing iconic scenes from Mary‘s perspective though. It put more humanity into her character and made me wince at her treatment from her sisters. 10mo
Linsy @Naomis-shelf Ooh, adding to my TBR! 10mo
Linsy @kyraleseberg I‘ll definitely be looking at things differently on my next reread of P&P! 10mo
kyraleseberg I also enjoyed the perspective of one of the "forgotten" sisters! Another great retelling I can recommend is 10mo
Linsy @Bronte_Chintz I wish you all the luck! Even with the changes that I gave significant side-eye, it‘s still a solid pick for me! 10mo
kyraleseberg That one stays true to the characters we fell in love with in the original P&P! 10mo
Linsy @kyraleseberg Ooh, stacked! 10mo
109 likes6 stack adds15 comments
blurb
kathleenaflynn
post image

I‘m on page 234 and still not sure how I feel about this book.

review
DarcysMom
post image
Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟
#Netgalley

whatshesreadingnow Nice review! 10mo
DarcysMom @whatshesreadingnow Thanks! 😁 10mo
57 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
kyraleseberg
post image
Pickpick

Everything you thought you knew about the Bennet sisters in P&P? Throw it out the window for this dark retelling! Shocking behavior, scandals, and betrayals are parts of their fate as told by middle sister Mary in the timeline before, during, and (mostly) after the original Jane Austen novel.
Major fans will probably rage or cry (...or both) if they decide to read the story of Mary B. Check out that overall rating on Goodreads!

Wife @HOTPock3tt This sounds interesting. 🤔 10mo
28 likes2 stack adds1 comment
blurb
Lissa00
post image

It is a beautiful (not too hot🎉) evening so I‘m doing some post-dinner, back-deck reading while the kids are with the grandparents.

quote
kyraleseberg
post image

review
robinb
post image
Pickpick

Limited space here so just a couple of things: I enjoyed this book but don‘t think all will. The writing is simply beautiful. However there are some tweaks to some of the characters that some may find disconcerting. Me? It‘s fiction and the way one author saw things develop from P&P.🤷🏻‍♀️ Heartbreaking, poignant, victorious. As for Mary? She finds her voice. She‘s amazing here. 4.3/5⭐️

Thanks to #NetGalley & #RandomHouse.
Out 7/24

53 likes3 stack adds
blurb
DarcysMom
post image

Must stop requesting ARCs! One more for July!
#Netgalley

73 likes1 stack add
blurb
robinb
post image

Up next...here‘s the blurb:

“Beneath Mary‘s plain appearance and bookish demeanor simmers an inner life brimming with passion, humor, and imagination—and a voice that demands to be heard.

Set before, during, and after the events of Pride and Prejudice, Katherine J. Chen‘s vividly original debut novel pays homage to a beloved classic while envisioning a life that is difficult to achieve in any era: that of a truly independent woman.” 🔽

🤞🤞🤞😊

robinb Thanks to #NetGalley and #RandomHouse for the ARC! 11mo
DarcysMom Looks good - I just requested it. 😁 11mo
robinb @DarcysMom oh good! I was so excited to get it! Hope you do too! 🤞 11mo
See All 9 Comments
LeahBergen I‘m looking forward to this one! 11mo
Bradleygirl Ok I have to read this one, this is how I sign off on cards 11mo
robinb @LeahBergen Me too! 😊👍 (edited) 11mo
robinb @Bradleygirl 👍🤣🤣 11mo
DarcysMom I am so excited - I was approved and it on my kindle! 11mo
robinb @DarcysMom YAY!!! I‘m still working on it! 😊👍 11mo
51 likes3 stack adds9 comments
blurb
JANEissarilyAUSTENtatious
post image

Do you ever wonder about philosophical middle sister Mary Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice? Well, in this book she gets her own story!

Set to release JULY 24, 2018!!!

rubyslippersreads I just got this ARC. So excited! 😄 13mo
CrowCAH @rubyslippersreads that is super exciting! 😀 13mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads I got the ARC too! I hope I remember to read it 😳😆 12mo
JANEissarilyAUSTENtatious @batsy deadlines are tough! Lol 12mo
21 likes4 comments