Being Mrs. Bennet Review & Giveaway

Alexa Adams is an author who never ceases to surprise me with unexpected yet incredibly well achieved plots, and Being Mrs. Bennet showed me once more how creative and talented this author is.

I’m not sure how to categorise this book in terms of sub-genre, but in it you will find a fellow janeite, Alison Bateman, who has a regular 21st century life until she suddenly becomes one of the characters of her favourite novel, Pride and Prejudice.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? But unlike most books or movies where this happens, she doesn’t become the heroine, she becomes none other than Mrs. Bennet!

Being Mrs. Bennet is the first book I’ve read where this type of plot is developed in a realistic and intelligent manner (if we consider this plot would be possible at all, of course). What I mean to say is that the know how of regency manners that Alison Bateman acquired while reading regency books her entire life doesn’t disappear when she becomes Mrs. Bennet, on the contrary, she doesn’t make a fool of herself because she knows how to behave, and discreetly learns the regency ways she is not yet familiar with. She doesn’t use modern language that could raise suspicions, she avoids activities that would reveal she is not the real Mrs. Bennet, like dancing at an Assembly, and the faux pas she makes, such as telling Lydia to wash her hands after dancing with someone who is sick, are perfectly understandable. This behaviour is exactly what I would expect from a fellow janeite, and not that horrible display we see Amanda Price doing in Lost in Austen, a story I hate precisely because I cannot believe someone so addicted to Austen’s work would make so many basic errors as that character does.

Alison Bateman, the main character in Being Mrs. Bennet, is a very likeable character who is intelligent and kind and with whom I believe most readers will relate. When faced with this new situation in her life, she does what every janeite would probably do, she tries to curb the unruly behavior of the youngest Bennet daughter and improve the attitudes of Kitty and Mary. What she doesn’t realise when she starts doing this with her motherly skills is what every JAFF author already knows, every small change in the characters or plot will have consequences on the romance of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth! When she realizes that her meddling may have consequences in that love story, she tries to do everything in her power to set things right, and that’s when everything starts leaving her control, however, unlike Lost in Austen, this character does not ruin the entire story, she is actually successful in leaving Pride and Prejudice just as it should be.

Apart from the main character, whom I really loved, the other aspect of this book I really enjoyed was the attention to details the author showed. I would expect someone who goes from our time to regency to notice some of the most obvious things, but Alexa Adams did a great job with the details such as the smell of people due to the lack of bathing, the effect of candles burning in a room, how uncomfortable regency clothes are, etc. These details made the story much more realistic and honest, it is not embellished to make us think everything is dreamlike, it is a real portrait of an era.

Another detail I enjoyed in this book was the reference to the Moonlight Sonata from Beethoven, which is my favourite classic music and I always love it when an author mentions it.

With Being Mrs. Bennet I realised how incredibly tiresome Mr. Bennet can be! I never thought about it because it was very funny to see him mock Mrs. Bennet, but when we see him do it to someone else (after all Allison perfectly understands his mockery), it appears to be very disrespectful, and now I understand Mr. Darcy’s opinion of him a little better. But I also realised with this book how one behaviour from one person can trigger a certain behaviour from someone else. In fact,  I believe this is what this book is all about, it delves on the impact people’s behaviour have on other people, and it was very interesting to see how small changes made the difference in the Bennet family.

I also loved the fact that JAFF is mentioned in this book, it’s not everyday that we see JAFF mentioned within JAFF!! It was thrilling to read that.

The second half of the book did not hold the same energy as the first one but the end is as unpredictable as it is perfect! I did not see that coming and I loved it! I cannot say much more because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I think you will also be surprised to see a certain character appear in this novel 🙂

I would certainly recommend this book to all janeites looking for an entertaining and funny book which focuses on family bonds, people’s behaviours and how our actions may affect others in unpredictable ways, but I have to warn you that there isn’t a lot of romance in it, so if you want to read a romance novel, this book is not for you. It is true that we see some romance between Darcy and Elizabeth, but that’s not the main focus of the book.

That being said, Being Mrs. Bennet is a compelling book that once more proves the author’s talent and ability to engage readers in an endearing novel with character development and introspection in the middle of a funny and light narrative. I took great pleasure in reading this book and certainly recommend it to my janeite friends.

You can find Being Mrs Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


.

Alexa Adams would like to offer one copy of Being Mrs Darcy to one of my readers. To participate in the giveaway all you have to do is comment on this post until the 22nd of July and let us know what you think of this story.

The giveaway is international so all my friends across the globe can participate.

Good Luck everyone!

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27 Comments

Filed under 4.5 stars, JAFF, Pride and Prejudice

27 responses to “Being Mrs. Bennet Review & Giveaway

  1. Sounds like a wonderful, unique read! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Like

  2. Ria

    Very intriguing plotline!

    Like

  3. I like the idea of an intelligent Mrs Bennet, I think it would certainly change Bennet for the better

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  4. Maureen C

    What an interesting, creative twist! Sounds like a great story!

    Like

  5. Jennifer Redlarczyk

    I first read this story when is was posted on a JAFF forum and had such a good chuckle. I can’t wait to read the finished product! Very entertaining and I highly recommend this book. Jen Red

    Like

  6. Pam Hunter

    This sounds so very interesting! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    Like

  7. caroleincanada

    Lovely review Rita and one story I’m looking forward to reading. I mean what could be more fun than a Janeite being in the body of Mrs. Bennet!!!

    Like

  8. alp1788

    This book sounds so interesting. Will have to add to my never ending TBR list

    Like

  9. Dung

    Such an interesting plot… Mrs. Bennet definitely has her influences. To be able to change to story be her actions or inactions would be interesting to read. Congrats on your new release Ms. Adams, I’m looking forward to reading it!

    Like

  10. Thank you for sharing your review. I’m glad you mentioned how this one compares to Lost in Austen as I had some issues with that one and am glad that this one avoids those issues. I’m very happy that Alison actually knows how to act and I look forward to discovering how she changes the story.

    Like

  11. Debbie B.

    What an intriguing premise! Yep, I’ll have to read this one. I always enjoy Alexa’s stories. Thank you for offering the giveaway. My fingers are crossed!

    Like

  12. BeckyC

    I am very curious about this story. I am looking forward to checking it out.

    Like

  13. J. W. Garrett

    Thanks Rita for hosting and this informative review. You have made several points that I’ve never thought of. I liked that. Thanks to Alexa and the publisher for this give-a-way. I can’t wait to read this and see how this new Mrs. Bennet handles Regency language and behavior with a modern mindset. Blessings on the success of this launch.

    Like

  14. Mary

    Hi Rita,

    This sounds like quite s different premise to those
    we are used to……Alison actually becomes Mrs B!!!
    How intriguing!! Would love to read this story and
    see for myself how she settles into the Regency period,
    where,like you said,people invariably ‘smelled’ one’s
    focus on hygiene wasn’t as it is today!
    You were certainly impressed by this author!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!

    Like

  15. Kim P.

    Great review! I’m happy to hear I’m not the only person annoyed by Lost in Austen. This book sounds really good. Thanks for the chance to win.

    Like

  16. Thank you so much for the lovely review! I’m thrilled you found it believable. I am definitely interested in the impact of behavior on others. I think the theme finds its way into all my stories and is also pervasive in Austen’s works. I’m a little sad you didn’t find the book romantic, as I am of the impression that this is the sexiest work I have written. If I’m wrong, it just demonstrates how far outside of my comfort zone I am when writing romance. Thanks again and best of luck to all who enter the giveaway!

    Like

    • Oh, I’m sorry if I made it sound it was not romantic Alexa, what I meant to say is that the romance is not the main theme of the book, as it is more focused on Allison and how she her action impact the story.
      But this book is incredible, I loved it and highly recommend it to my janeites friends. It’s once more proof that you are talented and not afraid to write something outside of the box. To me this book should not be missed 🙂

      Like

  17. Virginia Kohl

    Congratulations, Alexa! What an intriguing tale. Thank you for the chance to win a copy 🙂

    Like

  18. Glynis

    Thanks for this lovely review Rita. I have been fascinated by this storyline for a while and have added it to my list. I hope Alison is not allergic to smelling salts 🙂 🙂
    I am interested to find out just how she deals with Lydia (and how this affects ODC)

    Like

  19. I am very intrigued by this plot. Would love to see what someone who knows better will do in Mrs. Bennet’s body. Thanks for being cool and offering a free copy!

    Like

  20. I have been waiting for this one! So excited!

    Like

  21. C

    What a delicious twist!it must be a fun and interesting reading 😊

    Like

  22. This sounds like an excellent read, and quite different from other things I’ve read. I’ll definitely add it to my tbr list..

    Like

  23. From your well written review, I find it is the kind of book that I would love. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rita. But I don’t agree with your views on Lost in Austen. I like the mini-series and can understand that Amanda Price is not a true Janeite. I think Amanda takes P&P on face value (meaning the romance part) without studying Regency life in detail. After all, Jane Austen does not describe the gritty reality of her time in detail as her contemporaries would have understood it.

    Like

  24. lona manning

    I like to think that I would be able to pull off Regency time travel better than some people. But I’m so near-sighted! They wouldn’t have my prescription and I’d have to smuggle in some contact lenses and fluid. And cover my mouth when I laugh so nobody sees my bridgework?
    Nice to see that this novel takes the issue of how not to give yourself away into account. And the possible consequences of your actions. Thanks for the review.

    Like

  25. evamedmonds

    What a great idea to focus a time travel on Mrs. Bennet. I think that many of us would change her, but you are correct that you cannot change the love story of Elizabeth and Darcy. I am very curious to see if Mrs. Bennet actually mocks Mr. Bennet, who would be surprised and maybe not even know what happened. Thank you for the giveaway.

    Like

  26. Sounds like an intriguing premise, having someone from the 21st century end up as Mrs. Bennet. I’m fascinated to find out how her new-found parenting skills affect the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy.

    Like

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