• The Keeper: Mary Bennet's Extraordinary Journey

  • The Bennet Wardrobe, Book 1
  • By: Don Jacobson, a Lady
  • Narrated by: Amanda Berry
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Lizzy gripped Mary’s hands and began her speech.

“Now is the time for you. Heal now. Future only, my dearest sister.”

Mary Bennet has spent her entire life fighting to be herself. If only she knew just what that was. For years she buried her nose in the musty musing of Fordyce’s Sermons to Young Women, trying to be exceptional. She hid her light brown eyes - and herself - behind useless spectacles.

With both Jane and Lizzy married, it is time for Miss Bennet to emerge from her cocoon. Learn how a young woman of deep faith and inquisitive mind emerges. Yet, even as Mary Bennet overcomes her troubled teenage years, she is challenged by her sudden and total love for a man who mysteriously appears on the night of a great calamity. And his secret grows out of a remarkable device - the Bennet Wardrobe!

The Keeper follows the life of Mary Bennet as she matures from the prosy, moralizing caricature found in Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice into a confident young woman looking to make her mark in the rapidly changing world of the Industrial Revolution. And discover how the amazing Bennet Wardrobe makes life interesting for all Bennets.

The Keeper is volume one of the Bennet Wardrobe Series...named Best Series of 2017 by More Agreeably Engaged!

©2017 Donald P. Jacobson (P)2018 Donald P. Jacobson

What listeners say about The Keeper: Mary Bennet's Extraordinary Journey

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  • Overall
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A fun mix of so many things!

So let me begin with, when I first started this I was not sure I was going to like it. The world establishment in the beginning is a bit slow, but absolutely necessary!
Mary was a character I felt had been mostly skipped over or mocked in P&P, so the idea of her getting her own story was intriguing. To have her get such an adventure was even better! Once the story got past the world establishment, it just keeps moving constantly. It was a story I just couldn't stop until I had finished it!
Looking forward to more in the series!

2 people found this helpful

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Heartwarming and Engaging Time Travel Magic!

In my recent mood, I've been picking up time travel- themed books for my reading pleasure. The Keeper is actually a re-read for me and a recent one at that. On this occasion I picked up the audio version and settled in for a delightful time of Jane Austen meets CS Lewis.

In this magical time travel romance series that begins with an adventure for- not the famous Lizzy and Darcy of Pride and Prejudice fame- the dour and overlooked Mary who comes into her own and positively shows her stuff.

The story was slow to develop as it took a step back to set up the whole series and show how the Bennets came to be the keepers of the magical wardrobe, what happened in the past and led into the current story about Mary, and also introduced a few other threads left purposefully dangling. It is obvious that much is occurring beyond the surface story (mysterious elder woman whom Mary notices) and also is the set up for future stories in the series.

Time travel elements can pull me in or distract me when I read them, but I loved how the Bennet Wardrobe series fleshes out the explanation and even has rules that the time traveler must follow to use the magical wardrobe.

The historical context of this story is also carefully treated so no glaring anachronisms poke out to distract me. In fact, I had a great time with the references to not just Austen's literary characters and stories, but others as well. It was fun to spot them.

But in the end, it is always the characters who make or break a story for me and I was enchanted with this author's version of Mary Bennet and the surrounding characters.

Amanda Berry was as delightful as ever voicing the story. I find her tone and pacing, voice range, and style of narration a great fit for both the story and for me as the listener. I was glad to catch her in action once again.

All in all, my time with The Keeper was well-spent and I would recommend the book/series/narrator for those who enjoy both time travel romance and classical stories given a variation.

2 people found this helpful

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Such a marvelous story

I am so happy that I bought this wonderful little book. This book is witty, funny and daring. Mary is such a funny protagonist and can't wait to buy her next adventure. Do not hesitate to buy this book! I had many laughs while cleaning the house.

1 person found this helpful

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Mary and the magic wardrobe

Mary is Mary, preachy, somewhat unlikable, and suddenly she realises that too. Why is she always judging other? So when she is the eldest Bennet girl left in the house she sets out on a journey of self discovery. And Mary is so much more than just Mary.







But I am getting ahead of myself. The Bennet family owns a magical wardrobe that can transport you into the future. The wardrobe also has a lot of rules.







Even if the whole time travel thing is there beyond the horizon, this really is about Mary finding herself, re-connecting with her family, finding love, and becoming a beacon of hope.







There is also hints of other events. Kitty's book, Lydia's book, and more.







This was an interesting concept. The wardrobe is obviously secret, like could you imagine what Collins would do?! And lots of family members will use it so more is coming







I really liked Mary in this one, she was sure shown in a new light and it still fitted her essence.







A great narrator, she worked well with different voices, and she sure put the slime in Collins. This was a fun audiobook. It works so well in audio. Pride and prejudice brings all the feels.

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Excellence in Writing

The narration by Amanda Berry, whose performance I rate as five-star outstanding definitely contributed to my enjoyment of this unique story. To be able to cover so many characters and emotions in one book is a huge credit to her talent. When she sobbed, so did I. Positively brilliant.

Book Review:

Don Jacobson’s Wardrobe series is one that I have been curious about, but have resisted reading for quite some time. I’m one of those readers who, if they decide to undertake a series, prefers to have it completed before starting. I also tend to stay away from books that contain any semblance of magic or alternate universe. It’s just not my thing particularly, but I am open to exceptions, especially if the writer has a respected reputation. Don Jacobson does and, since his series is now complete, I no longer have an excuse. (I should add here as a disclaimer that I accepted a gifted Audiobook code with no promise of a review when offered by the author. It ultimately was the impetus to get me started on the series.)

Since this first book in the series has been out for a few years, I won’t take the time for a summary, as there are many previous reviews that do so on Amazon and Goodreads.

Unsurprisingly, I found the writing to be exceptional, as Mr. Jacobson is a masterful wordsmith. Another of his books which I enjoyed, In Plain Sight, is a testament to this. I’m not quite sure what I expected when I began this book, but I certainly didn’t expect to cry so much. The writing moved me to tears multiple times throughout the story. Any book that can bring out so much emotion in me is always a winner in my eyes. The story is a bit complex, as the reader has to keep in mind the rules of the wardrobe, as well as recall the characters involved with it early on and how they influence the “present” in the the story. History and persons of renown are also in the mix. As such, I found it fascinating and adventurous and, even inspiring at times — Mary is a spiritual person, after all. I simply couldn’t stop listening and finished it without stopping.

There are many characters to follow in this book, but I loved the portrayals they were given, especially Mary and Mr. Bennet. With over 1000 JAFF variations read, I also don’t think I’ve ever cried so much for George Wickham in my life. I did wonder about Mary’s marriage partner. I am aware of cousins marrying in Regency, but this particular conception surprised me.

Knowing there’s more to come (I do hope to continue the series), I’m not too stuck on my disappointment with Elizabeth’s outcome at the end of this book, but I was sad for Darcy. I anticipate reading more about her specifically in future volumes.

Certainly a unique reading experience for me. If you enjoy the Jane Austen fan fiction genre, mixed with some historical fiction, you will enjoy this book very much. Even if you’re a bit unsure like I was, if nothing else, read it for the writing. It’s truly outstanding.

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A fun variation

I read this book a few years ago before it was launched again. Mary is often an overlooked character in Pride and Prejudice and it was lovely to see her come into her own. I love the fun little Easter eggs in the beginning of the book. There was love,friendship and actioned packed at times. A fun time was had by all!

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Extraordinary, indeed!

Mary’s extraordinary journey was indeed extraordinary! This, the first book of the Bennet Wardrobe Series was a wonderful introduction to the Bennet Wardrobe story lines of the Darcy, Bennet, Fitzwilliam, Bingley and Gardiner families, through the story, which was full of drama, intriqué, happiness and sadness and yet it held so much promise of more to come.

Don Jacobson bring the families to life through his story telling and Amanda Berry’s narration, makes the many beloved characters, not only come to life, but make them into true friends for every listener and reader of this series.

To follow each sister of the Bennet family, this time Mary and a little of Lydia, was like finding missing friends, and also learning about a character who many readers know little of, from Austen’s original book.
I was also very pleased to follow Mary, and her way to the love of Edward and the future through her position of keeper of the Wardrobe.