Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Post for Jane Austen Fans

I picked up this book at the library today. It's called the Independance of Miss Mary Bennet.

Ooooo, I thought to myself. Fan fiction! So I promply checked it out and started reading it. I've always, after all, mused on what the other sisters did with their lives, after Lizzie and Jane were happily married off to Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley, respectively.

I often wondered if Mary would wise up a bit as the years go by, perhaps marry a nice homely bookish wcountry gentleman, a widower or somesuch, from nearby environs.

But after reading about a half a dozen pages of the above mentioned book while sitting at the library I decided I'd given it as much of a read as it deserved, and I promptly returned said book to the RETURNS slot.

You see, Mary was, if nothing else, very conventional. Pedantically so. And the Mary of this book is a rebel renegade about to burst loose. Supposedly almost twenty years of doing her duty has soured her to "conventional" and has her ready to go hie-ing off to do God only knows what. Furthermore, the authoress of this tale could not even cloak her 21st century biases and pre-conceptions very well at all in order to fit with the supposed setting of the first half of the 1800's. She also did not even attempt to copy Jane Austen's writing style (Ok, perhaps she attempted it, but in so doing failed miserably at it). Lit based lit ought to do that, I think.

And to add insult to injury, she ignored the character development that Austen gave to the character of Mr. Darcy in the original book, Pride and Prejudice, and veered off in a "men are jerks" direction. With both him, and the supposedly adoring-yet-unfaithful Mr. Bingley. (How is THAT EVEN POSSIBLE????)

Quite frankly, it turned my stomach. And this was all in the first five pages or so.

So, Austen fans: If you like stories based on P&P characters, consider yourself forewarned.

I, for one, would rather stick to the original, and imagine for my own self what became of Miss Mary Bennet.

Now, to be fair, I didn't read the book. Perhaps if someone has read it, and I am wrong with my first impressions, you can correct me.


elizabeth said...

eeewwwwww. I do dislike it when books change characters. sigh. Jane Austen - I should read more of her works... Loved reading them in University...

Ruth said...

So far I've tried several Jane Austen fan fiction books, and most have been a disappointment. I keep trying because I really want somebody to do a great job.