2013-02-23

Read Any Good Books Lately?

 I have a confession to make. I am a Jane Austen die-hard. I know, I know. To be a Jane Austen fan is almost a cliché, and reminiscent to a certain kind of hopeless romantic.

But, you see, it is okay. My husband, having sat with his aged mother through countless viewings of Pride and Prejudice, can respond to any question in perfect Regency rhetoric at the drop of a hat. In other words, he understands.

I just finished reading Austenland by Shannon Hale. Although the premise of the story was tragically ridiculous, it is plausible, I suppose. The main character, a New Yorker, inherits a three week vacation a Pembrook Place in England, in order to live out her Mr. Darcy obsession.

What I found fascinating about the story as not so much the ridiculousness of the plot, but the tension the character, Jane, experiences. Jane longs for the days when men and women courted,  when restraint was used, when one's dignity was something to be honored. But, at the same time, her thoughts are interjected by modern day attitudes towards the opposite sex. Desire and restraint go back and forth, as in a dance, which, ironically, is the very event the culminates during her stay at Pembrook Park.

I do not often read fiction anymore, despite having a degree in English literature, but it was a pleasure to find a current book that didn't debase Jane, like the current popular literature... 50 shades of a color. Have you read any good fiction lately? If so, I would love to hear from you!

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