18 January 2016
Pride and Prejudice
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Man, this book took me forever to read (perhaps it falls under the ideology of good things come in small doses... I took to reading about one, maybe two max, chapters a day). It is my first true foray into classical literature, and I have to say I'm a little disappointed in myself for not enjoying it more.
For starters, I am not a big fan of romance, and this novel is pretty much solely romance. It is thus slow paced and takes a while to develop. The good news is that some of the characters (notably Elizabeth and her father) are strong enough to help carry the plot along as it develops. One of the things I really enjoy about P&P is that there is no real love at first sight in this novel, as is often the case with romance. The relationships in this novel as so dynamic and ever changing, based on impressions and characteristics brought out in different characters.
If this novel does nothing else, it proves to me that I am so blessed to be a woman born in this time frame and in this country. There is no way I would have been able to put up with some of the expectations put on Jane and Elizabeth and the other Bennett sisters based solely on the fact that they are women and thus their only purpose is to find a husband. I do love how their father doesn't like to dabble in the drama this situation creates, like their mother is obsessed with doing. A lot of the snark and sarcasm comes out of this indifference, and this is perhaps my favorite part of Austen's writing. Of all the characters in the novel, in fact, I relate with the father the most. He has no tolerance for all the relationship drama, and really just wants to be left alone in his library. Solidarity, my brother.
I think one of my major hang ups with this novel was not so much the novel itself but the editor/publisher for the edition I have. This version is so ripe with errors such as missing quotations and punctuation that I found myself constantly editing my version with a pen. I finally switched to the free ebook you can download from Amazon, and my reading progress definitely improved after that. I'm certain I will give Austen another go, as soon as I can build myself up for some more classical, legitimate reading (over the light YA junk I typically read).