Pride and Prejudice… finally read for the first time!

Pride and Prejudice

So, I finally finished Pride and Prejudice.  Not only did it take me years to pick up the book and start reading it, but once I picked it up, I’ll be honest it took me forever to finish it.  Definitely a lot longer than I expected it to take me to read it.  Before I get too far into my review, this is the summary from Goodreads:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners–one of the most popular novels of all time–that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.

One of the shortest book summaries on Goodreads that I’ve seen!  Perhaps they assume by this point everyone knows what it is about?  Elizabeth, being the second of five sisters is the lead character in this story.  The book starts with all five sisters at home with the excitement of Mr. Bingley coming to town.  As the sisters are all similar ages and are “out” in society, actively searching for a husband they are excited to meet him, and it is not long before they meet him and his friend, Mr. Darcy.  The first third of this book I found hard to get through.  This book could very easily ended up on the disappointed list by the way the book started.

Wait, wait, let me duck and hide before you start throwing things.  There were several times in this first portion of the book that I felt like I was on the outside, and that the author was not letting me into the story.  She kept telling me about things happening but not really letting them happen.  Does that make sense?  Please tell me if I’m not explaining myself clearly.  Also, I felt like she bounced around a bit too much in the beginning and it was really hard for me to get to know the characters.  So, I pushed through. I was determined… this was going to get better.  And it did, things settled down a bit and I got to know Jane and Elizabeth a bit better, which helped.  But she still did that thing telling me about things that were happening but not letting them happen. It drove me nuts.  I’m actually a little hesitant to start another Austen book because I am wondering if that is her style, or just how she wrote this one?  I will read another Austen book, but not sure which one yet… any suggestions?

So, if I had to rate this book, I would rate the first portion a 1.5 or 2… and the last bit a 3 or 3.5 but I’ll average the book to a 3.  This is a book I can see myself trying to read again, and who knows maybe I’ll like it better the second time around – I liked Mockingjay better the second time around, so it could happen.  I’ve seen the BBC version of this book, which I really liked… and I want to see the Kiera Knightley version; I heard good things about it.   So, anyway, I’m glad that I read it and finished it.  Does anyone have any Austen insights or feedback?

3 out of 5 stars.

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It’s starting to get interesting…

“In a hurried manner he immediately began an enquiry after her health, imputing his visit to a wish of hearing that she were better.  She answered him with cold civility.  He sat down for a few moments, and then getting up walked about the room.  Elizabeth was surprised, but said not a word.  After a silence of several minutes he came towards her in an agitated manner and thus began,….”

– Pride and Prejudice