Through the Wardrobe to the Magical Land of… Jane Austen?

Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey

THE KEEPER FIThe Bennet Wardrobe #1
by Don Jacobson
Time Travel Romance
Narrated by Amanda Berry
Formats available: Paperback, Electronic, Audio
Pub Date: 8.15.18|
11 hours 27 minutes

REVIEWER: Sophia Rose

Audible code provided by author for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.


From Goodreads:

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.


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.


Links Blue Horizontal