In January, I blogged that I was joining the Jane Austen Challenge for 2011. My feelings were that it was the only reasonable book challenge for me. Of course, the minute I joined it, I didn’t want to read a single Jane Austen book. I’m weird that way, which is why I don’t join book clubs, even though I read voraciously. Anyway, it is now October and I have only managed to read one of the books I committed to reading, Mansfield Park.
I must admit that I found Mansfield Park to be a hard read and I was very unsatisfied with the ending. My friend loves the story and considers Fanny Price to be her favorite Austen heroine. She saw two movie adaptations before reading the book, so I don’t know if that affected her opinion or not. After talking with my friend, I tried to rethink my opinion of the book, and I finally realized what my problem was. I read Austen for the romance, period. I want to sigh at the end of the story, because love has triumphed once again. For me, without giving away too much, in Mansfield Park, love really doesn’t overcome much. It’s not enough to change anyone, such has what happens in Pride and prejudice when Elizabeth Bennet’s wit, wisdom, charm, and beauty overcome Mr. Darcy’s pride and prejudice. When I got to the end of the book, I was just left with this feeling of, “You mean I just read through this entire thing to have that be the ending!?!?!”
Anyway, that is my take on the story. This post is probably causing dead Austen fans everywhere to roll over in their graves.