I wanted to note that I’m sharing this review as part of Jane in June, which is hosted by Misty at Book Rat. if you’d like to participate in Jane in June, there’s still plenty of time to join the fun!
I’ve read Pride and Prejudice twice and I have to be honest and say that this will be a review in which I gush a lot about this novel. I enjoyed this book even more the second time around than the first and I honestly have no complaints about it. It’s one of my all time favorite books, and is definitely a feel good read for me.
A lot of people berate the plot of Pride and Prejudice as unoriginal, and this is a statement with which I disagree. I find it to be sort of classic love tale, and a lot of works are actually loosely based around its plot, such as Bridget Jones's Diary, not to mention the fact that modern adaptations have been made of some of her other books, such as the movie Clueless which is based off of Emma. As an aside, I have seen Clueless but have yet to read Emma. At any rate, even knowing the plot of Pride and Prejudice I still enjoy reading it and watching adaptations of it. I have to say that the ending always leaves me very satisfied.
I really love the characters which Austen gives us here. I love the snarkiness of Mr. Bennet, the fact that Mrs. Bennet is so obnoxious, and the descriptions of Lady Catherine de Bourgh's haughtiness. Last time I read this book my family and I discussed it over dinner and my mom mentioned that one of her favorite quotes from the novel is actually something which Lady Catherine De Bourgh says.
"Of music! Then pray speak aloud. It is of all subjects my delight. I must have my share in the conversation if you are speaking of music. There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, or a better natural taste. If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient."
My brother quickly followed this comment with, "Someone should drop a piano forte on Lady Cahterine de Bourgh's head!" and I was quick to agree. This, friends, is the type of dramatic emotion which this novel elicits in me. I enjoy watching Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth throughout the novel, and I have to say that during this read, I found Elizabeth to be quite relatable. I definitely don't think the anxieties she experiences throughout the novel are exclusive to her admiration for Darcy and I think Austen wonderfully crafts and develops them throughout the novel. She does a fabulous job of tying social norms and expectations of the time period into her work, which really shows in her characterizations of Elizabeth and Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Obviously she doesn't pay as much attention to Kitty and Mary, but she is still careful to tie up their stories at the end of the novel.
One reason why I think I enjoyed this novel even more the second time around is because I've matured as reader since I first read this, and I found Austen's prose to be much more readable, yet still not dry. I don't feel weighed down by the prose and I still feel as though I see so much of the characters' emotions.
I could probably go on for a while about how much I love this novel, but I think I'll leave it at this. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it. If you haven't had the chance to read this book but would like to, don't forget that I'm giving away a Penguin hardbound copy of the book and a copy of Bridget Jones's Diary on DVD to one lucky winner. If you'd like to be entered to win, leave a comment on my post about Why I Love Jane Austen with your e-mail address. Until next time, happy reading!