My sister asked me to recommend a Jane Austen book for a friend of hers who had -- brace yourself -- never read Jane Austen before. (Insert collective exclamations of surprise.) I was under the impression that it was required by law to read her books. Somehow I don’t see how one can have a decent conversation about relationships with a person who is not familiar with Jane Austen’s writing. I make no secret of the fact that I feel all women should read at least one of her books.
Being the avid fan that I am, I took it upon myself to recommend two books which I think best represent Jane Austen’s work. Naturally, Pride and Prejudice was first on my list. Of all her books I think this one is her best, and not surprisingly, Jane Austen’s favorite as well. There is something very relatable about her characters and the mistakes they make. You feel an instant connection and sympathize with them right from the beginning. You don’t take sides, though. It’s funny that way, as they both have their share of the blame for the misunderstandings and issues that come up between them. I’ve read this book more than once (I won’t tell you how many times because I actually don’t know), and I’m still not bored of it. It’s beautiful, and I’m really serious when I say this, and absolute must read for anyone who loves books. I can understand how it may not appeal to all men, but I do think it’s an appropriate read for both sexes.
The second book I recommended is Persuasion. This is a beautiful, beautiful story about love and forgiveness, and second chances. In the book the heroine rejects the hero for a number or reasons and wounds him deeply. I won’t tell you any more as I think it’s best to read it and find out for yourself. It is a classic example of what romance novels should be like. Once again the characters make mistakes and it takes a while for them to realize that their sin was in listening to the errant advice of others, or caring about appearances and trying to hold on to wounded pride. Once they get over themselves they have a breakthrough and the reader is rewarded with an ending that does not disappoint. The book is deeply and it just sweeps you away....good times!
I’ll leave you with a clip I found on Youtube from the British mini-series (BTW, if you can get your hands on it, do watch it as it’s perfect rainy afternoon entertainment):