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Monthly Archives: November 2013
It is best to say that I became Mary Bennet for approximately 24 hours. I could not put this book too far from my body…it was an extension of me. I am a sucker for the discreet romance and allure of a Jane Austen novel, I adore Downton Abbey and was in mourning after the last season for days, and I dream of someday living in an old house with 18th century character….I adore this time period. So when I read the blurb for Pamela Mingle’s novel The Pursuit of Mary Bennet: A Pride & Prejudice Novel, I knew it was for me.
The story follows the sisters of the Bennet family. The older beautiful sisters, Jane & Elizabeth have both married happily. The youngest sister, Lydia is involved in quite the scandal while Kitty, the flirtatious one, is seeking a suitor, and then there is seemingly plain, bookish, awkward and sensible Mary. (This is the one I relate to…hahaha). Mary’s mother has written her off to be the spinster and the one to take care of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet in their old age. Mary is accepting of this and prefers to be in a corner at a social gathering with a book….hmmmmm sounds nice. Then enter Henry Walsh…..an attractive and charming man. Mary’s interest is piqued, yet she is not the only one to notice this man. Her beautiful and polished sister Kitty is determined to make Mr. Walsh her husband. Yet, Henry seems to be interested in Mary….though Mary Bennet is not comfortable with courting and seems to push him into the arms of his sister. She sees herself as an embarrassment, will she discover her true beauty and worth? Love this novel and this time period!
This is a fictionalized account of the Flood of 1927 that many people may not have heard of…I had not heard of it until reading this book. In the authors’ note, they explain how thousands of miles of levees from Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico were endangered of flooding, and in order to protect the area, there were armed guards stationed around the levees. Despite their preparation, the big flood hit on Good Friday in Mississippi burying almost a million homes and drowning twenty-seven thousand square miles. Authors Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly got together and created a fictionalized story that occurs doing this tragic event.
The story follows two federal agents (Ingersoll & Ham) who are investigated the disappearance of two other agents in Mississippi when they get involved with Jesse, a local bootlegger, and his wife Dixie Clay. Throw in an orphaned baby boy and a saboteur who is hired to blow up the levee, and you have a story that will keep you reading. I will say that it took me a good 100 pages until I was hooked by the story line and started to care for the characters, but once that happened….I had to finish. I think this could be because of the two author’s influence in the story. I find that when I read a book written by two authors, the styles get a bit muddled. Once I became accustomed to the style, the story came to life. I loved the characters of Dixie Clay and Ingersoll….he was my favorite and I found myself rooting for him and Dixie Clay.