New Janeite Spinoff: The Meyersons of Meryton

The Fiction Addiction

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The Meyersons of Meryton(cover art from the publisher)

The Meyersons of Meryton, by Mirta Ines Trupp, opens right after the end of Pride and Prejudice, when the Bennets make the acquaintance of the Meyerson family through the Gardiners. After a few gauche comments from Mrs Bennet, the two families soon become friends and even find themselves connected in a wild adventure in service to the crown.

One thing I love about Jane Austen retellings and sequels is seeing how the new author sees our beloved Austen characters. Here, the Meyersons bring out the best in all the Bennets, and it’s all in believable ways. For example, Mary, the overlooked middle sister in Pride and Prejudice, discovers a tradition where her desire to read books and make her own extracts isn’t mocked. Instead, she’s encouraged and supported by her new friends.

I absolutely believed that Mrs. Bennet would start off by making cringy comments and asking nosy questions as she discovered a new culture. Socializing with someone new? Her poor nerves! This serves to introduce the Meyersons to the reader, as well as provide an entertaining lesson on British Jewish history. Some of this is very expository, with the Meyersons giving the Bennets infodumps on Jewish history and holidays. It’s less like fiction and more like a lesson, but since I love the Bennets and was interested in a new part of Jewish history, it was nice read. For example, Rabbi Meyerson explains a prayer from husbands praising their wives, and invites Mr Bennet to remember his love for Mrs Bennet. This novel also explores how Mr and Mrs Bennet got to their state of mutual distaste and resentment, too.

Readers also get to see more of Bingley and Darcy’s friendship. Like the state of the Bennet’s marriage, this book explores a relationship from the original novel, and these scenes with our favorite odd-couple besties are so lovely.  I love the idea that sweet, warmhearted Kitty matures a bit and marries a clergyman. This is also explored in another Austen variation I’ve enjoyed, What Kitty Did Next.

In addition to all of my beloved characters learning and growing in new, believable ways, disreputable Wickham continues to act like we’d expect. His greed continues to make trouble for his in-laws, and by extension Darcy, in ways that seem totally believable too.

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