- Paperback: 282 pages
- Publisher: Meryton Press (2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1936009293
- ISBN-13: 978-1936009299
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 76 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,361,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Alias Thomas Bennet Paperback – 2013
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"I loved that even when I thought I'd pieced together Mr. Bennet's story, I hadn't, and that even after all was revealed, I still had no idea how it would all play out. Alias Thomas Bennet is a real treat for fans of Austen-inspired fiction, and I cannot praise its originality enough." 5 stars -- Anna Horner, Diary of an Eccentric
From the Author
"What if Mr. Bennet was opposite to the persona Jane Austen presented in Pride and Prejudice?"
When I decided to change the entire personality of Mr. Bennet to remove his canon flaws, I realized that many key plot points of Austen's influential novel would be affected, and decided that nothing was sacred. The butterfly's wings had flapped, resulting in a "New and Improved Bennet Family." Whilst they remain the same inessentials, the Bennets have each learned to manage their personal weaknesses.
A warning to sensitive readers: there is violence and sex in this book. I thought long and hard about which mature scenes to retain, and was supported by my editor. As a result, those that are included are integral to this complex tale with two story streams surrounding the mystery of "Who is Thomas Bennet, and why is his family so different from the original?" The cover note warns of a brief,non-explicit scene of sexual violence, which is in the preview. The remaining mature scenes are mild, honest descriptions of youthful curiosity, natural passion, and monogamous love that complete these characters' stories.
Editor Gail Warner proposes one word to describe Alias Thomas Bennet: "unique." Without a doubt, this novel is singular as a Pride and Prejudice variation--and you'll die when you learn the identity of the true heir to Longbourn!
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Thomas Bennet was the lynch-pin within the canon Bennet household. His indolent manner of handling things was reflected in his treatment of his wife and her response to him and external conditions [her nerves and needing salts or other such attention garnering devices]. His favor of his eldest daughters over his neglect of his silly younger daughters. His response to advice or warnings [against Lydia going to Brighton].
It also applied to his management of [or lack thereof] the Longbourn Estate [cause and effect, lower yields… lower income per annum]. The Longbourn financial situation, management of and/or mismanagement of household and estate funds [no savings for his daughters]. Change him and everything changes. And that was exactly what happened. Once the canon Thomas Bennet character changed, his influence on Mrs. Bennet and his daughters… also changed the makeup of the family.
“I find the best way to love someone is not to change them, but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.” Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
At first, we experience flashbacks of both the Bennet and the Lord Shelton story lines. It was hard keeping them straight. However, once we had a bead on the main story, we could progress.
As I read about the daily lives of the Bennet girls, it was like being in a house of mirrors that distort the reflection. There was a disconcerting feeling as I first start reading this book. The Bennet family was unlike any Bennet family in JAFF that we have read about before. It was, as one reviewer put it, an alternate universe. To me, it felt a bit like ‘bizarro world’ or better yet… Stepford Wives. I kept thinking, who are these people? What did they do with the real characters? These automatons were just too perfect to be believed. They were beautiful, dressed beautifully, created their own fashions, intelligent, and proficient in all those areas where young ladies are considered accomplished. I kept scratching my head, as I read about their actions and behaviors.
Don’t get me wrong, but… really, you NEVER see the following words used in reference to the Bennet girls or their mother… ever: proper upbringing, under control, with dignity, politely, sense and honor, tasteful, proper lady and sense of propriety, just to name a few. And that included Lydia also, who along with Kitty, were not out in society… as was proper. See what I mean?
In fact, in this story, Lydia and Elizabeth spent a lot of time together. I almost called it an unholy alliance. But there you have it. And none of the girls were enamored with Wickham and his sob stories. In fact, they decided to warn their friends to not be swayed by him, as he didn’t seem sincere. OMG!! However, despite their caveat, ONE of their friends didn’t heed the warning… to her detriment. You stupid, stupid girl, what have you done?
Not all of the Bennet girls were perfect in their ways. Elizabeth Bennet, when in the presence of Mr. Darcy, simply could not help herself and became a menace to her place within the female sex. She was determined to best him in every way, intellect, chess, quest for knowledge of science, mechanical inventions and how things worked. I just wanted to tell her to shut—it—up! She got on my last nerve. Half the stuff she was questioning him about wasn’t even relevant as the innovations were disproved or discontinued. I thought the discussions were too in-depth, unnecessary and didn’t add to the story. Her intellect could have been demonstrated in another way.
Elizabeth said and did the most stupid things that were constantly getting her in trouble. If someone tells you that there might be trouble from Wickham, and/or that you are in danger… you should freaking LISTEN to what they have to say. Her stubborn independence nearly got her killed, hurt, maimed and/or accosted on more than one occasion. I wanted to tell Darcy… RUN… do not walk… run away from this foolish woman. She will drive you crazy, or get herself or you killed with her stubborn foolishness. You don’t need this. Dang… she just had to walk out alone. And, just so you know, I hope it leaves a scar… she deserves a forever reminder of her foolishness.
The ending and the epilogue was a bit sluggish and didn’t come to a smooth conclusion. There were still a few threads that could have ended more smoothly. I liked the story but didn’t love it.
Rating: MA-R: Mature Audience: R-rating: Contains scenes of a sexual nature. There was a brief scene of a sexual assault, an attack, a graphic, sexually explicit daydream, self-gratification, and sensual encounters. Yeah, it got a bit racy at times.
Follows canon to an extent but a lot is not as it seems...
ODC gets an understanding earlier than canon. Love these books where they are not at odds until the last page...
I will try to write a description without spoilers...
Fanny Gardiner is Mr Bennet's cousin, an event at her coming out ball makes them take a sea voyage. On the ship they encounter Mr Miles and his two young daughters. The significance of this encounter will reveal itself later in the book.
It is known to the Meryton society that Jane and Elizabeth is wards to the Bennet's but a lot is not as it may seem.
The Bennet's in this story, behaves with decorum and are highly accomplished. With a Mr Bennet lacking the faults from canon his family behaves very differently.
That does not deter Darcy from lamenting Elizabeth's lack of connection after he enters the Meryton society nor prohibit him from uttering the insult. A highly intelligent and scientifically bent Elizabeth, argues with him at every turn and he leaves with the Netherfield party due his danger of falling in love with her. Their reunion in Kent will show that his fleeing did nothing to cool his ardour but other dangers are lurking in the gardens...
Some very informative letters sends the entire party back to Hertfordshire as Jane and Bingley gets engaged. The letters spurs Darcy into action and there is a significantly more romantic proposal than canon although it is not entirely free of insults...
Back at Longbourne, secrets are revealed and overheard, setting of a series of events of the thrilling nature. It all ends in HEA and an epilogue.
Heartily recommend this book!