Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Publisher: Harper Press 2010 (original publication 1813)

Format & Page Count: Paperback 373 pages

Genre: Classics, Romance

Date read: July 19, 2014

My rating: 5 stars

Summary (from back cover): Austen's best-loved tale of love, marriage and society in class-conscious Georgian England still delights modern readers today with its comedy and characters. It follows the feisty, quick-witted Elizabeth Bennet as her parents seek to ensure good marriages for her and her sisters in order to secure their future. Through the irrepressible characters of Mr Collins and Mrs Bennet and the sensitivities and nuances of the relationships between Darcy and Elizabeth, Austen's skill and artistry as a writer shines.

My Thoughts: This is admittedly not my first time reading Pride and Prejudice, but this was the only time I was able to get past the first 100 pages. I had initially "read" this book for a school project, which crunched me for time and ended with me relying on Sparknotes to get the information required to finish my project and left me with little desire to sit down and read the book. The second time I attempted to read it was when I realized that many people I know were appalled that I did not appreciate the beauty of it the first time around so I gave it another go. Suddenly I was drowning in school work and had to put leisurely reading aside. Now that I have no school work and ample reading time, it is a perfect time to take in this book for what it is worth.

The beginning was a bit slow for me since I had read it twice before with less than fond memories, but after I got past that 100 page hump, I was flying through. I ended up reading the last 150 pages all at once while on a short vacation. I was struggling between wanting to read it fast because I was so in love with the story and  taking my time to admire each detail. Apparently I went with the latter. I ended up loving this book and I now understand why it is the most loved classic for so many people. The writing is simply timeless as to where I felt as if I was a part of the action although I'm reading it centuries later. Even though the societal constructs observed in this book are outdated, the characters and their struggles are easy to relate to. Elizabeth is witty and headstrong, not willing to sacrifice her happiness in order to confide with what is expected of her as a woman during that time. I'm sure most people, if not everyone, can relate to this where they have had to make a decision between choosing what would best make them happy or what would be expected of them and considered the more rational decision.

If you are fighting with yourself about whether or not you should read this, I highly recommend you find a time when you have little else to do and sit down and give this book a whirl. It is also a great book if you are wanting to start to venture in the classics genre. I personally am not a huge classics reader, but it takes a gem of a book like this one for me to really appreciate why classics are a favorite to many.

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