Story Title: A Mother’s Role
Author Name: Natalie
Story Url: Story Link
Content Rating: All Ages
Length: 20,700 words
Story Summary: Mrs. Bennet was always disappointed with her husband. A lazy man and a drunkard, he is useless to his family. Mrs. Bennet sees to the estate and her daughters’ education.
This is a very sweet story, which I was largely drawn to because of the importance it places on a mother’s role in the life of her children. I’ve often said that in any other role I have served in life, I am expendable, save those of wife and mother. This story perfectly exemplifies that.
There are many stories in which Mrs. Bennet is portrayed as a truly ghastly mother, several of which you’ll find recommended on this blog. “A Mother’s Role” flips that concept and instead asks how things would have been different for the five Bennet sisters if their father had been negligent and indifferent at best, while their mother was hard-working and devoted to her family. I love getting to see what would change and what wouldn’t, particularly when one takes into consideration the issues of personal responsibility that each individual has for their own actions and character development. There is certainly less angst in this story than in many others, but that doesn’t mean there is a lack of dramatic tension or that there are no challenges for the characters to overcome. And while “A Mother’s Role” isn’t long, it packs a huge tale into this novella-length story. I loved it.
My Only Critique: As far as the technical writing skills, this story is absolutely perfect. The author is either an outstanding editor on her own, or she had an excellent beta working with her. (Or both!) The only thing I can think of that might be a hurdle to anyone’s enjoyment would be the deliberate out-of-character depictions of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Personally, I had no problem with it, as that was the point of the entire story. But canon purists should be aware from the start that this story does not feature the same parents as in Jane Austen’s story, particularly in the case of the estimable Mrs. Bennet.