It’s time for the ‘A-Z challenge’- a post every day in April (except Sundays) working up through the alphabet. This year I will be writing about books that I read before I started this blog, that were important to me in some way. The vast majority are ones I still have on my bookshelf today, despite a move in house and sometimes many years since I first read it.
A is for Austen
Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
What is it about:
Jane is the second oldest daughter of a gentleman who unfortunately had all girls. He had always planned on having a son who could inherit and look after them, but now with his estate looking to be entailed away to a distant (and horrible cousin), the girls will have to find husbands who can provide for them.
The two eldest girls are both fairly sensible people if a little different in temperaments- Elizabeth is witty but at times a bit harsh, and her older sister Jane is lovely, gentle and always sees the best in people. Two of her younger sisters, and her mother, are silly, love sick, superficial girls. The final younger sister, Mary, is religious and overly serious. These characters provide the spread of different ways of approaching relationships.
There are love interests, clashes between strong personalities when one party thinks themselves more elite, dances, heartbreak, marriage, romantic tension, and funny caricatures of various follies.
When I first read this book:
I first read this book sometime in high school. I am not sure whether I read it first, or watched the BBC 6 hour version first, but I quickly became a fan.
Why it is important to me:
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may have picked up that I really quite like Austen and Shakespeare. Pride and Prejudice was my first Austen book, and came after a time when I had been reading quite a few classics. Compared to some of the other classic authors (*ahem Dickens* she coughs indistinctly), Austen was breezy and lighthearted, with descriptions that got to the point and painted a picture in a paragraph rather than a page. Pride and Prejudice has been an old standby to read or watch when feeling morose or bored.
Who should read it:
If you are interested in reading the classics but haven’t done so yet as you are afraid of it being too hard or long.
If you like period romances.