What can be said about a book that has nothing to recommend it? The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet cannot boast of being well-written, well-researched, or well-plotted. Despite the association of Austen and her Pride and Prejudice characters, never mind the ample name-recognition of its author, this novel should not have seen the light of day.
Working with a promising premise – the later life of middle sister Mary Bennet – Colleen McCullough sends her from one prison (a twenty-year sentence as companion to Mrs Bennet) to yet another, more literal prison as the underground captive of a religious zealot named Father Dominus. This is “independence”? Continue reading