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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Review and Giveaway: A Match For Mary Bennet by Eucharista Ward O.S.F.

A Match for Mary Bennet: Can a serious young lady ever find her way to love?
by Eucharista Ward O.S.F.
Sourcebooks Landmark (October 1, 2009) ~ 368 pages
Fiction / Jane Austen Spin-off

Edition Reviewed: Advanced Reader Edition ~ Many thanks to Sourcebooks for sending me a copy of the book for review.

Perfect for : Personal reading, book club read

My Thoughts: This is another fun follow-up story to Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice (one of my favorite books). One thing I particularly liked about this book, is that Eucharista Ward O.S.F. took a character that I think was really overlooked in the original Pride and Prejudice and focused on her character and development in this book.

For me, the first few chapters were a little slow, as they focused on so many little details while developing Mary's character (yes, this IS needed, just made it a tad slow for me), but soon after, the book started to pick up. It was nice to watch Mary transform from her almost singular focus on improving her mind through the pursuit of reading and music, to a more well-rounded young woman.

Initially set on living a solitary life, she meets two very eligible young men who both show an interest in her. The first is Stephen Oliver, who has come to the local area to become the vicar of Kympton. He has a love of books and initially seems to be the perfect match for Mary, who thinks he would be perfect for Kitty. Next, we are introduced to James Stilton, who enjoys music and who seems to be just a little shady.

While being encouraged to accept an expected marriage proposal (that Mary does not desire) by her mother, and simultaneously being told to reject the proposal by her father, Mary is ultimately given her freedom in a very unexpected manner. . . with the help of Mr. Oliver and Darcy!

One thing I particularly liked was that while Mr. Collins turned the Bennett family (or at least some members) against Lydia and the poor choices she made by asking them to consider her as though she were dead, Mr. Oliver tried to open Mary's eyes to the fact that Lydia's life had most likely not turned out as she had expected, and that she should be embraced by the family. He also helped her to see a few other people in a different light as well, which I found to be refreshing and in turn, helped Mary to grow as an individual.

Another fun perk of reading this book - we got to catch up with Darcy and Elizabeth as they welcomed a new addition to their family, Jane and Bingley, Georgiana, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, et al. About the only thing that I will add is that in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice we came to know and love Kitty as "Kitty," not as Catherine as she is referred to in this book. I kept reading about Catherine and trying to place her among everyone. After a few chapters, it became easier to remember that Catherine is really Kitty.

From the Publisher:
A unique and inspirational Pride and Prejudice sequel that will resonate with all readers who can relate to Mary Bennet's determination to live according to God's wishes

Written by a Franciscan nun, this is a sympathetic tale of the middle Bennet sister from Pride and Prejudice. Pious Mary Bennet tries to do her duty in the world as she thinks God envisions it.

Initially believing (mistakenly) that her sister Elizabeth married well only in order to provide for her sisters, Mary is happy to be relieved of the obligation to marry at all so that she can continue her faithful works.

But she begins to have second thoughts after further studying marriage through her sisters' experiences as well as spending time with two young men. One is a splendid young buck whose determined courtship must have ulterior motives; the other is a kindly, serious young clergyman whose friendship Mary values more and more. One day she realizes that God very much made man and woman to be together...but which is the man for her?
About the Author: (From the book)
Eucharista Ward is a Sister in the order of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, with an MA in English. After retiring from teaching she became a licensed nurse's aid and currently works nights in an assisted living residence, where—to pass the time—she writes sequels to Jane Austen's beloved novels.

Giveaway Details:
1. Leave a comment here telling me your favorite Austen character (1 entry)

1.5. For a daily bonus, come back and tell me about an Austen sequel you have read and what you liked about it (1 entry daily, must be different books each day)

2. Post a link to the giveaway on your blog and/or Facebook and report it here (1 entry)

3. Become a follower (link is on the right hand sidebar) and leave a comment here (or "remind" me you are already a follower so I know you want to be included in this giveaway) (1 entry)

4. Fave Wendi's Book Corner on Technorati by following the link on the right hand sidebar just above Followers (1 entry)

The drawing will be held October 31st-ish. Winner: I will send you an email, please reply with your address so I can forward your contact information to the publisher!

This giveaway is open to residents within the United States and Canada, no PO Boxes.

~ Wendi


Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

+1 Hmmm my favorite Austen character...so hard...NOT!!! I <3 Mr. Darcy!!!!! I mean really is there a girl out there who doesn't?! :-P I especially love the version of Mr. Darcy in the BBC movie Lost in Austen, soooo cute!

+1 I'm an old follower!

xoxo~ Renee

chromiumman said...

wickham was always my favorite - a horrible man, but a wonderful character

mrsshukra said...

I love Darcy!!!


mrsshukra said...

Already follow!


holdenj said...

There's a lot of great characters, but I've always liked how Anne Elliot worked everything out.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Anne Elliot. Hands down.

While I've read a lot of sequels, the only one I've truly liked has been the Pamela Aiden 3-book series, which was Pride and Prejudice written from Darcy's viewpoint. Awesome!

I follow in Google Reader!


Anonymous said...

Darcy for sure

plur268 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I love, Love, LOVE Mr. Darcy!!!!!! I had the biggest crush on his character and was forever looking for my own "Mr. Darcy" until I realized that no man would ever measure up... Please accept this as my entry. Thank you!

Aliya D.

Bakersdozen said...

I love how Lizzy stands up for herself, especially to Lady Katherine. And, of course, there is Mr. Darcy. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

intensev5 said...

Mr. Darcy of course!! Thanks for the great giveaway:)

Jenny N. said...

+1 My favourite Austen character is Elizabeth Bennett. SHe's quick witted and speaks her mind.


Jenny N. said...

+1 Already a follower


Jenny N. said...

+1 An Austen sequel I read is An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aiden from the Fitzwilliam Darcy Gentlemen series. I like it cause it retells Pride and Prejudice from Darcy's perspective so you get to see his growing attraction to Elizabeth.


Paulina said...

George Knightley, my absolute favorite.

pamelarm said...

I have to go with Mr. Darcy, swoon!


Anonymous said...

I've read 'Young Master Darcy' by Pamela Aidan. Please accept this as another entry. Thank you!

Aliya D.

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

Definitely, Mr. Darcy, I am a follower and would love to win
this book.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

pansy said...

Who would say anyone else but Mr. Darcy!

Anonymous said...

I've read all of Pamela Aidan's books in the "Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman" series... The first one I read was back in 2003 called 'An Assembly Such As This' wich was about Mr. Darcy's initial visit to Hertfordshore from the opening chapter of 'Pride and Prejudice'... What I loved was the "other" view point, the "extra" and the fun of it all and the fact that this novel in the English language still inspires copies, imitation and praise through the word. Please accept this as my entry. Thank you!

Aliya D.

Jenny N. said...

+1 The Darcy Saga by Sharon Lathan is another P&P sequel I have read. I remember reading her fanfiction online and now she's a published author.


Curling up by the Fire said...

I've always loved Mr. Knightly and Elizabeth. I also love Emma because I love how her character develops so much in the novel. I just adore all of the books.

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

Elizabeth Bennett can really hold her own!

journey through books @ gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Another one I enjoyed was a continuation of the series by Pamela Aidan titled 'Duty and Desire'... It again continues the P&P saga from Mr. Darcy's perspective.

Aliya D.

CJ said...

My favourite Austen character is definitly Mr Darcy. Thanks for the giveaway :)

julieplourde at hotmail dot com

CJ said...

I follow your blog :)

julieplourde at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

The last of the Pamela Aidan's series, 'These Three Remain' was charming and a good closing... I enjoyed it all. Please accept this as my entry. Thank you!

Aliya D.

Anonymous said...

I've also read The Darcy Saga by Sharon Lathan comprised of 3 novels... The first one is 'Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy' and it completely feeds into my P&P addiction as well as my romantic nature. It's exciting to learn more about my favourite couple's life... Please accept this as my entry. Thank you!

Aliya D.

Jenny N. said...

+1 Another P&P sequel I have read is "Darcy and Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley" by Linda Berdoll. Its the second book by Linda and I never did read the first one from her. I liked this one because it also showed the character development of Georginia and Col. Fitzwilliam and how they eventually got together.


Anonymous said...

elizabeth bennett,,thx for the contest...

Smooshy said...

mr. darcy!

Melanie said...

Im torn between 3, Elizabeth, Jane, and Mr. Bingley. :]


erma said...

I like Darcy.

Anonymous said...

DARCY gets my vote :)

karen k

Gabriel S-J. said...

I like Mr. Darcy.

Anonymous said...

The second installation in The Darcy Saga by Sharon Lathan, I loved 'Loving Mr. Darcy' because of the author's beautiful writing.

Aliya D.

Anonymous said...



rb109972 said...

Mr. Darcy, he is the best ever!

cherdon said...

+1 Mr Darcy is a shoe in for favorite character

+1 Pride and Prejudice is the sequel I read

+1 Posted this giveaway on FB

username is cheryl hodgkins

url to post


+1 I follow your blog

+1 Faved you on technorati

username is cherdon

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Anne said...

Mr Bennett - says so much with so few words!

susansmoaks said...

+1 mr darcy is my favorite

+1 faved on technorati

+1 follower

Belinda M said...

My favorite character is Elizabeth Bennett from the novel Pride and Prejudice

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


Belinda M said...

I follow your blog

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


Terri Dell said...

I have 2
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr.Darcy

Terri Dell said...

I follow on google friend connect

Jinxy and Me said...

Elizabeth Bennett is definitely my favorite.

Amy G. said...

I love Mr. Darcy- especially when played by Colin Firth in the Pride and Prejudice mini-series.

masonsgranny59 said...

Mr. Darcy!

Charlene Kuser said...

Elizabeth Bennett is my favorite
character.She is funny,full of life,and intelligent


Unknown said...

Mr Darcy, what a character. Everybody loves him just like Bill Clinton. garrettsambo@aol.com

Charlene Kuser said...

Following your blog


Charlene Kuser said...

Fave you on Technorati (Swtlilchick)


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