I hate. HATE. how much I loved this book. Really truly loved it. For some reason, I never had to read it in high school or college and I certainly never wanted to read it on my own time. In case you have not been able to tell from my previous posts, I’m not into mushy love stories. And from what I had heard about P & P, it was a classic love story that I fully intended to avoid at all costs. Considering the fact that it is a classic that seemingly everyone has read, though, I put it on my to-read list and figured I would “get it over with.”
Well color me surprised when after only a few pages I found that Jane Austen has a direct line to my heart, as well as my funny bone. Yes indeed, it is a love story, but Austen writes it in an almost satirical way, showing the ridiculous expectations of that time period and making a convincing case for love outside the confines of propriety and societal expectations. She uses sarcasm to give life and humor to social situations considered to be of the utmost importance during that time, such as the impending loss of a family estate due to a lack of male heir and the elopement of one of Elizabeth’s sisters.
Just as her humor gives life to an age-old love story, her descriptions do so for her characters and it is easy to find one’s self feeling drawn to some and repulsed by others. Because the story is focused mostly on Elizabeth Bennet, we share in her experiences and, therefore, feel the disappointment in her mother and sisters’ shallow behavior, the genuine surprise after finding out the true natures of Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy, and the affection for such amiable characters as her father and sister, Jane.
The writing is eloquent and engrossing. The characters are wonderfully developed and captivating. The love story is vastly unexpected and delightfully complicated, in a way that would enchant lovers of the classic romance novel as well as make great strides towards converting even the harshest of love-story critics, myself included.