When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Who Recommended it to Me: Sister, mom...the list goes on.
Who I would Recommend it to: Anyone, especially young girls and women, who want to appreciate a good work of exceptional literature.
I knew that after reading this book that Jane Austen was an amazing woman. Her voice in the novel is clear and full of beauty, her characters vivid, bright, and so completely and utterly real. Her critics think that it's a joke that it should be considered one of the greatest works of literature of all time and that endless scenes of dinner parties and dances are unimportant, but I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. Jane Austen herself is one of the few authors I've read books by, that has such a heart and voice as she writes and articulates the story line. Elizabeth Bennet is an imperfect and completely fallible character, as each heroine in a good book must be. When I first read the book, at age 10, I was charmed by Elizabeth and thought she was wonderful. After further consideration, which included talking to my sister, I concluded that while it may seem at first glance that Elizabeth has good judgement, she ended up judging a book by its cover (figuratively). She and many others thought Mr. Darcy an awful-spirited man before they got a chance to know his true nature. The beauty of the articulation Jane Austen explores of that classic theme leaves me in awe of the structure of the story.
It was one of the first classics that I read and each time I reread it, so far only twice, has been unforgettable and better each time. My parents are literature freaks, bibliophiles and lovers of literature and beauty in books, as are my siblings as they grow older. My mom always tells stories about high schoolers looking at the book with disgust before reading it and its wonders. My brother and sister are English teachers, even. While I sit at the place of the youngest in my family, I always watched them read Shakespeare, Austen, Tolstoy, Charlotte Bronte, and other works of literature, I always felt a deep wanting to read those books too. Finally, after much begging, my mom agreed to let me read Pride & Prejudice and Emma, and I reading those books just days within each other, I fell in love with Jane Austen's writing. With Elizabeth Bennet and her bad judgement, with all literature. This summer I even read half of the masterpiece Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy) and then realized it was too much to manage, finish, and comprehend. But I sincerely loved it. I love Shakespeare--everything including A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and everything in between. I read my first Shakespeare play at the age of seven or eight and Jane Eyre at the age of 11.
Though classic literature might seem tiresome and tedious, and this might seem like an overly poetic analysis, I think everyone just has to sit and think a little bit about what they read, like I did after reading Pride & Prejudice. If you shut a book, get up and do something immediately after, then you know that the book had no meaning to it. Good literature should be slowly savored and carefully thought about, in my opinion, and that's how you know what's a good book and what's not. Good books make my mind hurt. Pride & Prejudice made my brain ache when I was thinking about it–but in a good way.
If you haven't read this book, then I suggest you read it now. Buy it at a bookstore. Dig up your parents' old copy, if they ever read it. Do whatever it takes to read this book. Sit down in a quiet place, take a deep breath, and let the words sink into your mind.