Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1990 (originally 1813)
Pages: 351 pages
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction (Adult)
Source: paperback & audiobook
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
I knew while reading this book (or, rather, listening to it) that it would be difficult to review such a loved classic, but I also knew that I didn’t want to keep my thoughts about it to myself. To say that this book took me by surprise would be an understatement. It’s not that I didn’t think I would like it, but there is so much more to it than I was ever aware and that made it so much more enjoyable. I’ve never seen any of the adaptations and the one time I did read the book was in high school and, honestly, I must not have given much of my time then because there was so much in it that I didn’t know about!
First off, the characters. Aside from Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, I loved that there were so many characters that had their own stories and I loved Lydia and Jane and what happened with them throughout the book. Their stories were new to me. I didn’t expect all of the drama that happened, but I ended up glued to the book to find out what was going to happen. Still, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy were my favorite characters and I completely understand why they’re both so loved, but especially Elizabeth. She’s one of my favorite characters now. Her intelligence, her spirit, and her independence made me so happy. That wit of hers, and that of some of the other characters, gave the book the comedy that it needed to not be too dramatic. Mrs. Bennett’s reactions to some things were also hilarious. I’m not sure if she was meant to be, but she was definitely part of the comedic relief to me.
Romance… Oh, the romance! I love a good romance and I’m a huge (and easy) shipper, but I didn’t expect to swoon so much! I think what I loved most about Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy was that their love was not easy. There was no insta-love, which is always a plus, and despite the time all of the women seemed to be able to make their own decisions for the most part regarding their lives. Another good thing!
I also want to mention the audiobook that I listened to while reading the book. I got it from Downpour.com a couple of years ago and I’m so glad that I remembered that I had it in my library and decided to listen while reading. Carolyn Seymour was a joy to listen to and I highly recommend this edition if you’re looking to buy one.
I’m happy to now add this book to my favorites. As someone who has a soft spot for “chick lit” and romantic comedies, I knew that Pride and Prejudice was a must read. Five stars without a doubt. I can’t wait to watch a few adaptations and read more of Jane Austen’s books.
According to Goodreads, a couple of similar books are Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. More information on Pride and Prejudice can be found on Goodreads.