Title: The Keeper – Mary Bennet’s extraordinary journey
Author: Don Jacobson
Genre: time travel
The keeper is the first book of The Bennet wardrobe saga by Don Jacobson and, as the title suggests, it focuses on the neglected character of Mary Bennet and her maturing process.
The main story occupies a period of time from the Regency era, re-engaging in the final events of Pride and prejudice, to the Industrial Revolution. Thanks to the extraordinary powers of the wardrobe, however, there are also scenes that take place in the past and in the future.
This wardrobe, in fact, is not only a decorative object, but a portal that can carry in the future those who have Bennet blood in the veins. Obviously, these time travels are governed by some rules that prevent them from influencing or modifying events too much.
I really liked Mary’s story; I especially enjoyed the scenes in which she faces a serious calamity and those in which she knows a mysterious man. The peculiarity of this character is that she changes from being the insignificant mouse described by Jane Austen in her book, to become a woman of greater depth, able to help others and to make some of the great changes of her time.
Along with that of Mary there are also mentioned the events that happened to her sisters, especially Kitty and Lydia, while Jane and Elizabeth, although present in the work, are less relevant. In particular, Elizabeth in some moments seems to me a hateful figure.
Another character I liked was Mr Bennet, here more proactive and less procrastinator than usual.
The author put many notes in his book and this is something that I really enjoyed, because through them we learn a lot (especially I approached the theory of Heinlein that I didn’t know). In fact, while reading the book, it is clear the great culture and the great research work that the author did to write this book. In particular, it is fascinating as he makes other known characters appear and find their place in the story (e.g. Mary Wollestonecraft, the future Mary Shelley). In fact, this does not make the reading always smooth, but it enriches it very much (in confidence, being a Japanese graduate, when I read Nihon Shoki I was a little exalted).
A peculiar feature of this book – probably because it is written by a man – is the presence of the theme of the war, often missing when the authors are women and the books focus only on love stories.
Overall the plot is very enjoyable, I would also like to read about other people’s travels through the wardrobe, and not just those of the Bennet sisters. It would be nice to see how this extraordinary tool was used by Mr. Bennet and his ancestors.
Don Jacobson has written professionally for forty years. His output has ranged from news and features to advertising, television and radio. His work has been nominated for Emmys and other awards. He has previously published five books, all non-fiction. In 2015, he published two novellas that found their roots in The Keeper. He holds an advanced degree in History with a specialty in American Foreign Relations. As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilization and Research Writing. He lives in the Seattle, WA area with his wife and co-author, Pam, and their cat, Bear. Don also enjoys cooking, dining out, fine wine and well aged scotch whiskey. His other passion is cycling.
This book was sent to me by the author in exchange of an honest review.