Although when you look on my GoodReads, and it tells you that this book took me 3 months and 6 days to read, do not think that that is because it is terrible. On the contrary, I adore this book. To put it simply, it took me that long because I could not be arsed in the mornings to read complicated language. Ahem.
Pride and Prejudice follows, mainly, the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, after the arrival of Bingley and Darcy at Netherfield, near where the clever, charming and attractive Elizabeth lives. With a nightmare mother and 4 other sisters, all in need of financial security, there’s trouble brewing at Longbourn. The novel also follows many other romances: Mr Collins’, Lydia’s, Jane’s included. (I’m trying not to give too much away.)
If you’re look at the 1800s, this is a perfect contemporary novel. It shows exactly how women were meant to behave (or, in some cases, not meant to). It shows the art of letter writing, something which isn’t used much this days (although I always get a thrill of seeing an envelope with my name, hand written, on the front). And Austen has done a fantastic job with a romantic comedy novel.
My favourite part was towards the end, with Elizabeth and Darcy communicating (yay! Finally!), and, obviously, the eventual engagement (I’m guessing here that every single person knows they get together…). The comedy aspects of it did make me laugh out loud, especially at the sarcasm involved (I’m looking at you, Mr Bennet).
Now, to the language part (aka, the one thing that annoyed me that I still wouldn’t change). It’s long-winded, has big words (many of which I didn’t understand and therefore ignored) and, if it were written in the colloquialism of today, would have been about 100 pages less. The language is what took me so long to get through it, probably. My mind couldn’t take it on the bus rides in the morning to college, when everyone was asleep, and then I didn’t read it on the way back because everyone was awake! Moreover, it is difficult to read just a page; you have figure out where it begins, and then by the time it gets to the end, you’re too involved to stop.
The character development is great. Elizabeth’s change of heart, Mr Darcy’s complete change of character; in fact, I think the only ones who remained the same were Mary, Mrs Bennet and the Gardiners. The character’s are very 3D, and they are all different between each other – Mr Bennet and Elizabeth, Elizabeth and Jane, Bingley and Darcy, Wickham and the Colonel. I wish that all characters were like Austen’s.
Finally, the plot: the plot is a typical romance, admittedly, but it has scandals and subplots, and some parts of it are revealed slowly, so the reader remains guessing along with the characters. I never felt cheated on a plot, and felt that they all added to the atmosphere the book created, as well as the ideas it needed to show.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, definitely. Make sure you’ll be able to handle the language, but other than that it’s an incredible read and I love it to pieces.