I won't use so many words!
Ever go to a blog for a recipe and you scroll through the five paragraphs and finally find the list of ingredients?
Ever go to a book review blog and scroll through the thirteen paragraphs to the last sentence? That's where everyone puts their actual opinion about the book.
On this blog, I promise to keep it short and sweet! (Well, maybe a little spicy. Ok, ok. Lots of spicy! Cajun spicy.)
...To the novel!
So I studied all of the major novels by Jane Austen when I did my study abroad to Oxford University during my undergrad.
Fell. In love. With. Jane.
Look at all my books from Oxford. (Books about/from the place you're visiting are the best souvenirs, are they not?)
- Northanger Abbey (a little too Gothicy for me), wrote in 1811
- Mansfield Park (nice novel, mail character is a bit too passive), wrote in 1814
- Emma (main character is really annoying), wrote in 1815
- Sense and Sensibility (balance act between an annoying female character and a more Lizzy-like one), wrote in 1811
- Pride and Prejudice (oh, Lizzie is the epitome of a strong, opinionated, smart female character!), wrote in 1813
- Persuasion (FAVORITE. It's just so smart), wrote in 1811
We did not get to her earlier work and now I see why after reading Love and Friendship.
I got it for free here. I thought, "Oh, Jane! I love thee. I will read thou's work and it will be love... thee. Art thou excited?"
Or something along those lines.
But this was very Gothicy (when I say Gothicy, I mean dramatic, maybe supernatural, lots of fainting.)
Just look at all the times there was fainting in this novel:
- "This was too cruel, too unexpected a blow to our gentle sensibility - we could not support it - we could only faint,"
- "'Unworthy grandfather!' said I, and instantly fainted in each other's arms,"
- "Sophia shreiked and fainted on the ground - I screamed and instantly ran mad,"
- "For an hour and a quarter did we continue in this unfortunate situation - Sophia fainting every moment and I running mad as often."
- "[A] disagreeable headache she attributed it to a cold caught by her continued faintings in the open air,"
- "Beware of fainting fits... Though at the time they may be refreshing and agreeable yet believe me they will in the end, if too often repeated and at improper seasons, prove destructive..."
I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST!
- "Run mad as often as you choose; but do not faint,"
Are you LOL-ing? I am. I want to tell these female characters, "Stay awake, ladies! Goodness sakes! You can do it."
The whole thing is a series of letters from one person to another, and then someone else. More letters. I am not a fan of this kind of writing. I need more context. More characterization of the letter writer.
I need my omnicient third person narrator!
We all need Lizzie Bennet! (Read what Jane Austen thought about her female character here.)
So for the last sentence with the actual opinion: To tell you all the truth, I didn't even finish it. Not the right book for the right mood. I was not a fan. But I would love for someone to tell me why they loved it.
Learn more about Jane here.
Start your Jane Austen (Ok, really it's your Mr. Darcy obsession) here.