Home ARCs Mary B: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice by Katherine J. Chan

Mary B: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice by Katherine J. Chan

by Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

Mary B: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice

Mary B: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice by Katherine J. Chan
by Katherine J. Chan
Published by Random House Publishing Group
on July 24th, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 336
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 4 Stars



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.

What is to be done with Mary Bennet? She possesses neither the beauty of her eldest sister, Jane, nor the high-spirited wit 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.

ARC Historical Regency Romance

A truly unique take on the world of Pride and Prejudice, with Mary being the main character. Imaginative and different, take all of your preconceived notions about P&P and hold them back; don’t bring them with you while reading this. If you are a fan of P&P (like I am), you will be shocked by the liberties the author took with all of the beloved characters. There’s already a lot of controversy about this book and all of the negative press that it’s receiving. This actually made me want to read the novel even more and I’m glad I did. Embrace this fresh new look on the lives of these fictional characters.


I had to mull a little bit on my review for this story. I have to say Mary is the least likeable characters from Pride and Prejudice and I always was a bit curious to know her point of view on certain events. While she still did not come off as extremely likeable, I did appreciate the certain realism it brought to the beloved original story. The other sisters (besides Jane) came off as more of a caricature of their original personalities. Lydia and Kitty were more annoying and mean, and Lizzie was not as witty as she should be; she actually came off as selfish.


This story is, after all, about Mary, so my sympathies were always with her character. She easily fell in love and quite easily fell out of love too.  Perhaps it’s my growing cynical nature, but I enjoyed the glimpse of the after HEA and how it was not sunshine and daisies for some.

Personally, I enjoyed this different take on the classic. It added more grit and seriousness (in certain parts). While I still prefer the original story, I do believe this brought something entirely different to the table.


Are you a fan of Pride and Prejudice? Do you read re-tellings on classics?



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GayathriKristen @ Metaphors and MoonlightAleen @ Lampshade ReaderBookworm BrandeeStephanie Jane (Literary Flits) Recent comment authors

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There are a few retellings that I would love to read and P & P would be one of them. I have read a few different versions but never from Mary’s POV. Let me look out for this.

Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

I’ve never read P&P, but this does sound like an interesting idea for a retelling, so use a small character, especially one who’s not as likeable. I’m glad you enjoyed the different perspective and that it did bring something new!

Bookworm Brandee

I am a fan of P&P and I do like re-tellings if they’re done well. I like the premise of this one and it seems like it was executed pretty well. And not many take on Mary so that’s interesting. I’m glad you enjoyed it for the most part. 🙂

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)

I only read Pride And Prejudice for the first time a couple of years ago as part of a challenge to read all six Austen novels. I surprised myself by preferring Northanger Abbey, but appreciated there being so much more to P&P than I had ever realised from its adaptations. It’s a brave author who takes on Austen’s classic and I like the sound of Mary B. Thanks for your thoughtful review 🙂


Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book! And I love re-tellings! Right now I am reading Eligible, which I have heard is a good re-telling! I will be adding this to my TBR, it sounds really intriguing! Great Review 🙂

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

I enjoy classic retellings, though they can be a bit harder to appreciate than fairy-tale retellings since the original stories have more substance to them – so I tend to be a bit harsher. While I don’t like how the other sisters become caricatures of themselves, I do like how this book seems to bring more to the story.

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