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An Unconventional Education: A Pride & Prejudice Variation

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Mrs Bennet follows her mother’s example and favours her beautiful daughters, ignoring the three middle girls, while Mr Bennet is too ill to oppose his wife’s favouritism. A new neighbour has an issue with Mrs Bennet’s attitude and intervenes by adopting the girls, giving Elizabeth, Mary and Kitty the chance to become accomplished young ladies and learn whatever else interes Mrs Bennet follows her mother’s example and favours her beautiful daughters, ignoring the three middle girls, while Mr Bennet is too ill to oppose his wife’s favouritism. A new neighbour has an issue with Mrs Bennet’s attitude and intervenes by adopting the girls, giving Elizabeth, Mary and Kitty the chance to become accomplished young ladies and learn whatever else interests them. Their interests result in an unconventional education and very different sisters from the way they were destined to be. Follow their journey to adulthood and watch how events might have unfolded. This is a low angst and mostly nice and sweet story. If you like lots of drama, angst, misunderstandings and drawn out conflict, this story is probably not for you.


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Mrs Bennet follows her mother’s example and favours her beautiful daughters, ignoring the three middle girls, while Mr Bennet is too ill to oppose his wife’s favouritism. A new neighbour has an issue with Mrs Bennet’s attitude and intervenes by adopting the girls, giving Elizabeth, Mary and Kitty the chance to become accomplished young ladies and learn whatever else interes Mrs Bennet follows her mother’s example and favours her beautiful daughters, ignoring the three middle girls, while Mr Bennet is too ill to oppose his wife’s favouritism. A new neighbour has an issue with Mrs Bennet’s attitude and intervenes by adopting the girls, giving Elizabeth, Mary and Kitty the chance to become accomplished young ladies and learn whatever else interests them. Their interests result in an unconventional education and very different sisters from the way they were destined to be. Follow their journey to adulthood and watch how events might have unfolded. This is a low angst and mostly nice and sweet story. If you like lots of drama, angst, misunderstandings and drawn out conflict, this story is probably not for you.

30 review for An Unconventional Education: A Pride & Prejudice Variation

  1. 4 out of 5

    Madenna U

    In this Pride and Prejudice variation, Mrs Bennet is NOT a nice person. She only cares for her daughters that look like her. A very connected and wonderful woman takes advantage by offering to adopt Elizabeth, Mary and Kitty. She ensures they are loved and educated. As situations change, she extends her guardianship to Jane & Lydia. They all learn that family is were the love is. It is with confidence in their true family and their education that makes the girls interesting (or not) to the gentl In this Pride and Prejudice variation, Mrs Bennet is NOT a nice person. She only cares for her daughters that look like her. A very connected and wonderful woman takes advantage by offering to adopt Elizabeth, Mary and Kitty. She ensures they are loved and educated. As situations change, she extends her guardianship to Jane & Lydia. They all learn that family is were the love is. It is with confidence in their true family and their education that makes the girls interesting (or not) to the gentleman in their life. It takes a strong man to love a strong woman.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James S

    Wow. Very original story The plot is so new and so original and so odd I do not feel like giving anything away. The Bennets sisters have many changes in their lives. One small spoiler...Wickham gets his just desserts. Lots of action, a few new characters. Quite page turner. I enjoyed it immensely. As Mr. T used to say, “I pity the fool that doesn’t read this story!!”

  3. 4 out of 5

    wosedwew

    A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. ~ George Santayana “An Unconventional Education” concerns more than the Bennet sisters’ education. The story begins with an ailing Mr. Bennet; an abusive Mrs. Bennet and a kindly widowed neighbor who has no children of her own. Mrs. Mortimer approaches Mr. Bennet with an offer to adopt his three middle daughters. He agrees and Elizabeth, Mary, and Kitty are immediately elevated in status. Their new mother arranges for a governess and masters A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. ~ George Santayana “An Unconventional Education” concerns more than the Bennet sisters’ education. The story begins with an ailing Mr. Bennet; an abusive Mrs. Bennet and a kindly widowed neighbor who has no children of her own. Mrs. Mortimer approaches Mr. Bennet with an offer to adopt his three middle daughters. He agrees and Elizabeth, Mary, and Kitty are immediately elevated in status. Their new mother arranges for a governess and masters of every sort: music (especially for Mary); art (especially for Kitty); and fencing (especially for Elizabeth). An unusual event occurs after the death of Mr. Bennet which leads to a change in the entail. The self-defense lessons aid all the sisters but, to my notion, are somewhat overdone. Eventually, the story is a little too much “super Lizzy” and sometimes “super Jane” also. In fact, all the sisters are a little too super. But overall, I liked the story very much. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. ~ Sydney J. Harris

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carol Perrin

    An Unconventional Education: A Pride and Prejudice Variation This is a very unique variation in which Mrs. Bennet actually hates and neglects her three daughters: Elizabeth, Mary, and Kitty. She only loves Jane and Lydia because they look like her, blonde hair and blue eyes. Mr. Bennet is very sickly in this story, so much so that he cannot curtail his wife's treatment of the three girls. Enter their savior, Mrs. Stephanie Mortimer, a wealthy widow who offers to adopt the three girls. Mr. Bennet An Unconventional Education: A Pride and Prejudice Variation This is a very unique variation in which Mrs. Bennet actually hates and neglects her three daughters: Elizabeth, Mary, and Kitty. She only loves Jane and Lydia because they look like her, blonde hair and blue eyes. Mr. Bennet is very sickly in this story, so much so that he cannot curtail his wife's treatment of the three girls. Enter their savior, Mrs. Stephanie Mortimer, a wealthy widow who offers to adopt the three girls. Mr. Bennet finally agrees knowing that his daughters will be treated well and loved. Mrs. Mortimer is well connected in the Ton, but prefers living in the country. Her estate, Brook Hall, is not far from Longbourn. After settling the girls each in their own rooms, she makes plans to have her adopted daughters well educated not only in what all young ladies of consequence should know, but also what each wants to pursue. Being very unconventional herself, she is not surprised that Elizabeth wants to learn to ride astride, fence, and shoot. A governess, masters, and an arms-mistress to teach her daughters self-defense. Fast forward four years when Mr. Bennet dies, Collins Sr. and son arrive. Mr. Collins is a brute of a man; whereas, William is cowed and ill-treated by his father. Collins forces himself on Mrs. Bennet, but before he can compromise Jane, Mrs. Mortimer arrived from London so now Mr. Bennet's will can be read. His two remaining daughters become the wards of Mrs. Mortimer. Jane settings into her new life, but spoiled Lydia needs many consequences before she finally comes around. Mrs. Bennet finally gives birth to the heir of Longbourn, Collins and his abused son are removed. Days later, William Collins returns to Meryton badly beaten by his now dead father. He is taken in by Mrs. Mortimer and given an education. What I really liked about this variation is the strength of Mrs. Mortimer and all of her adopted daughters. When Jane and Elizabeth make their presentation to the Queen, Elizabeth and Darcy actually see one another, but are not introduced, but he is intrigued by her. She helps him avoid Caroline Bingley, but does not fawn or seek his attention. Jane has to use her self-defense skills to stop a compromise attempt, and does it with such grace that nobody really knows what happened. Of course, the "gentleman" does because our mild mannered, gentle Jane broke his ankle. Three years have gone by when Bingley takes the lease on Netherfield. The usual characters are with him in this variation, and Darcy is still avoiding Caroline Bingley. During the Meryton Assembly he recognizes Mrs. Mortimer and when Bingley badgers him to dance, he realizes that before him sits the girl that he's been looking for since seeing her at his Aunt Matlock's ball. Accepting an introduction and requesting a dance, he is so intrigued that he requests permission to call on her. As they grow closer, Caroline grows more desperate and finally ruins herself by attempting a compromise. Wicked Wickham arrives with the militia and tried using his usual sad tale , but Elizabeth sets him straight. Wickham has an evil plan of revenge against Darcy by compromising one of the Mortimer girls, preferably Elizabeth. What he hadn't taken into account was their sisterly care for one another and the skill and ferocity to protect each other. The results of protecting their younger sister is witnessed by Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and Bingley. Both cousins are impressed with the ladies, but Bingley was shaken by what he witnessed. He withdraws from Jane leaving Colonel Fitzwilliam's desires for Jane a reality. What I especially liked about this story was the care the three girls received from Mrs. Mortimer. I also enjoyed the strong relationships that developed between the five sisters and their new mother, the women and their cousin William Collins, and the ladies and their suitors. While there were errors, whether spelling or wrong word choices, they didn't detract from the flow of the story. I have this story a 5 star rating because of its uniqueness that gave gave Mrs. Bennet's rejected daughters a new lease on life.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laurann Wilkey

    Struggled to finish as it was implausible and lacked romance The book was half way through before Darcy and Elizabeth were properly introduced. The romance between them lacked chemistry and even his proposal was short and to the point...no romance at all! However, the worst part to me was how implausible the story was. The whole idea of Mr and Mrs Bennett being so willing for their daughters to be adopted, the ridiculous notion of just how unconventional their education was left me rolling my eye Struggled to finish as it was implausible and lacked romance The book was half way through before Darcy and Elizabeth were properly introduced. The romance between them lacked chemistry and even his proposal was short and to the point...no romance at all! However, the worst part to me was how implausible the story was. The whole idea of Mr and Mrs Bennett being so willing for their daughters to be adopted, the ridiculous notion of just how unconventional their education was left me rolling my eyes. For Elizabeth to be that good at all manner of weapons would suggest she'd have to spend hours every day to garner that sort of proficiency. Not to mention pistols back then we're very inaccurate as they weren't made to the same precision as today, so the thought of Elizabeth shooting anything or anyone with someone in close proximity is ludacris and outright irresponsible. Not to mention fencing with sharpened blades with no protective armor is plain stupidity...accidents happen regardless of how good you are. The worst part was having to read about Elizabeth killing two men, and having people praising her for it. The incident in question while some defense was warranted hardly called for killing. There are ways to hinder attackers without shooting to kill. The story was slow to get going and I struggled to finish. The more I read the more dissatisfied I became. I have no idea how this book managed to get an average review of 4 stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    lori huff

    Unexpected The book has a surprising premise, one that I haven't encountered before. Elizabeth, Mary, and Kitty are adopted by a kind and generous woman who can see that Mrs Bennett abuses them, while Mr Bennett is too ill to intervene. After several years Mr Bennett dies, and Jane and Lydia also go to live with Mrs Mortimer. She gives all of the girls the unconventional education of the title. This includes self defense and tree climbing. The story is enjoyable because everything runs along prett Unexpected The book has a surprising premise, one that I haven't encountered before. Elizabeth, Mary, and Kitty are adopted by a kind and generous woman who can see that Mrs Bennett abuses them, while Mr Bennett is too ill to intervene. After several years Mr Bennett dies, and Jane and Lydia also go to live with Mrs Mortimer. She gives all of the girls the unconventional education of the title. This includes self defense and tree climbing. The story is enjoyable because everything runs along pretty smoothly. Mrs Mortimer is a super mom , and there's no end to her generosity and understanding. She's like some kind of saint, while Mrs Bennett could compete for worst mom ever. Because of her fantastic mothering, all of the girls turn out wonderfully talented and well mannered. There are some pretty bad villains, and some pretty shocking situations because of the villains. One surprise twist was regarding the relationship of Jane and Mr Bingley, and the event leading up to the surprise twist. Much of the book was narrative, and expressed in a matter-of-fact way. A lot of the interactions between Elizabeth and Darcy were presented this way, and it lessened the romance for me. I felt that the evolution of their attraction could have used a lot more focus. Although there were a lot of editing errors, the book is well written. I recommend it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Unconventional/Atypical Variation Not only does this variation involve an unconventional education, but this entire variation to Pride and Prejudice is the most atypical one I’ve read in a while—probably since I read this author’s last. Great originality. This storyline is definitely original, as far as I know, having the three most unloved daughters of Mrs. Bennet adopted by a neighboring widow, Mrs. Mortimer, who cannot bear to see them mistreated. Since Mr. Bennet is unwell and can’t control h Unconventional/Atypical Variation Not only does this variation involve an unconventional education, but this entire variation to Pride and Prejudice is the most atypical one I’ve read in a while—probably since I read this author’s last. Great originality. This storyline is definitely original, as far as I know, having the three most unloved daughters of Mrs. Bennet adopted by a neighboring widow, Mrs. Mortimer, who cannot bear to see them mistreated. Since Mr. Bennet is unwell and can’t control his wife’s meanness towards them, he accepts Mrs. Mortimer’s proposal to raise them away from her, while her two favorite daughters, Jane and Lydia, remain with the Bennets. The story follows the daughters’s lives and the unconventional education they receive, from early childhood to their meeting of Bingley, Darcy and Col. Fitzwilliam. Even though it sometimes touches a bit on the unbelievable, I quite liked it! As a devout follower of JAFF, I always enjoy something unexpected. The story, while light on romance, was high on power to women. Well done! Definitely recommend it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sublime Rama

    VERY DEVIANT VERSION Avoid if you want to stay true or within the parameters of P&P. This version introduces modern ideas of female independence and completely deviates from the reality of what a female could do/be in the time of Jane Austen. Simply put, take the appropriate behaviours for ladies of the time and marry it with our contemporary reality. Also the language was not up to or close to J Austen standard. I like reading P&P variations as long as the parameters of what is appropriate in th VERY DEVIANT VERSION Avoid if you want to stay true or within the parameters of P&P. This version introduces modern ideas of female independence and completely deviates from the reality of what a female could do/be in the time of Jane Austen. Simply put, take the appropriate behaviours for ladies of the time and marry it with our contemporary reality. Also the language was not up to or close to J Austen standard. I like reading P&P variations as long as the parameters of what is appropriate in that era are preserved. I give this a 3 star just for the authors boldness direction. I don't think its a good read, I wasn't rushing to finish it but I was just curious about its ending.

  9. 5 out of 5

    S Lentz

    Cliff notes version of an unlikely story This feels like the short, Cliff Notes version of a story without very flushed out ideas or character development. Dialogue and writing is very short, and the story is just kind of absurd. Apparently, the three middle girls are adopted out to a wealthy widow because Mrs Bennett is a jerk. They are basically trained to be swashbucklers... which just turns out to be so convenient. Mrs Bennett gets to keep her house and stick it to the Collins’ because of old Cliff notes version of an unlikely story This feels like the short, Cliff Notes version of a story without very flushed out ideas or character development. Dialogue and writing is very short, and the story is just kind of absurd. Apparently, the three middle girls are adopted out to a wealthy widow because Mrs Bennett is a jerk. They are basically trained to be swashbucklers... which just turns out to be so convenient. Mrs Bennett gets to keep her house and stick it to the Collins’ because of old man Collins’ own poor and terrible actions against her. It’s all just kind of absurd.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Pleasant surprise I almost didn't read this book because of some of the reviews, but I finally have in a month later. Although I can understand why one reviewer referenced Annie Oakley, I actually enjoyed it. I have to admit that I was confused as to why Darcy and Richard were willing to watch the ladies fight men without doing anything to stop it (you just gotta go with it.) Overall, I prefer this over a book full of misunderstandings. If Salier does a sequel, I'm all in. Pleasant surprise I almost didn't read this book because of some of the reviews, but I finally have in a month later. Although I can understand why one reviewer referenced Annie Oakley, I actually enjoyed it. I have to admit that I was confused as to why Darcy and Richard were willing to watch the ladies fight men without doing anything to stop it (you just gotta go with it.) Overall, I prefer this over a book full of misunderstandings. If Salier does a sequel, I'm all in.

  11. 4 out of 5

    MandyChris

    A very different take This story was a great way to spend my time reading. I can't wait to start the second book of this series. I just loved the different view on the original P&P. I would totally recommend this story to anyone wanting to read a different view of P&P. I also love the original characters that the author has added to the story. A very different take This story was a great way to spend my time reading. I can't wait to start the second book of this series. I just loved the different view on the original P&P. I would totally recommend this story to anyone wanting to read a different view of P&P. I also love the original characters that the author has added to the story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    Interesting what if Fun story where some of the Bennet sisters are adopted by an independent, strong and wealthy women to rescue them from an extremely silly Mrs. Bennet. The reader will need to embrace the concentration and not worry about historical accuracy - which makes this story so fun to read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Valeria

    Any other mother Halfway through this novel I realized that I’m a true fan of Ms Salier’s JAFF because she usually replaces Mrs Bennet with a sensible mother figure and I’m able to read with fewer cringy moments. Any variation with less Mrs Bennet, a reigned in Lydia, Caroline stymied, a dead Wickham and Jane doesn’t marry Bingley gets high ratings from me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Flynn

    Terrific P & P Variation I simply couldn’t put this book down! I loved Mrs. Mortimer’s character and that she encouraged the girls to learn things traditionally taught exclusively to men. Bravo for writing a variation for today’s women.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kashelia B. Jackson

    Just okay I wanted a story that featured Mary Bennet. This was okay, but Elizabeth can be rather annoying. Will there be a sequel? I would like to find out what happens to the other sisters.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I'm not sure what I thought about this book. It felt less like a Pride & Prejudice variation and more like a Regency story with charcaters that had the names of people from P&P. I did like the story, but I felt Elizabeth was almost "too good". I'm not sure what I thought about this book. It felt less like a Pride & Prejudice variation and more like a Regency story with charcaters that had the names of people from P&P. I did like the story, but I felt Elizabeth was almost "too good".

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michele Packard-milam

    A Very Interesting Variation This novel has many surprises and leans fairly far away from canon. The differences are quite engaging, which creates an alternate world inside the familiar community of Meryton. I really liked it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marla Mercier

    Definitely off the grid Lots of changes in many characters, some surprising. An inspired story of the basic P&P but definitely a deviation. Well thought out and if only ladies of that time could all have experienced the benefits of Mrs. Mortimer.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Pau

    Good! I enjoyed this story as its own story and not necessarily as a P&P variation. If you want something more traditional, i would not recommend it. None of the characters are anything like the originals. If you can get past that, just enjoy it for what it is, a good fun story!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Really lame There was very little that was enjoyable about this book. I kept reading because I was hoping it would redeem itself, but my hopes were in vain.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sara (onourshelves)

    A lovely variation. I love reading where the sisters are good at everything, even though its not realistic, and Darcy is just completely enamored with Elizabeth, and that's what I got. <3 A lovely variation. I love reading where the sisters are good at everything, even though its not realistic, and Darcy is just completely enamored with Elizabeth, and that's what I got. <3

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Buchli

    I always say I like the crazy Austenations, but this one veered too far into the ridiculous even for me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Craftyhj

    An interesting and enjoyable variation. A very different upbringing for the Bennets makes a number of changes to the original story. The new characters are engaging.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Terri Conley

    A very good story Sydney is fast becoming a favourite author. Enjoyed very much.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Luginbill

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda N

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Morgan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie Louise

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rosanna L. Thornton

  30. 5 out of 5

    Judy Corbett

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