Mansfield Park Jane Austen, 1814

A friend’s invitation to an all-Austen session at her book club proved irresistible. The challenge: to read/reread as many Austen novels beforehand. I love ‘rereading’  Austen, a global phenomenon as described in a recent Times Books article. I read Pride and Prejudice twice a year as an antidote to stress. Sense and Sensibility: once a year. Both checked off my list. I turned first to Persuasion, a fine exposition on (un)requited love; then to Mansfield Park. Fanny Price didn’t disappoint. Though hobbled by her situation in life and outwardly restrained to a fault, she rises to every occasion, plus shows herself to be a thoroughly ‘modern ‘woman with judgment who won’t settle for less than she knows she deserves. The language is delightful, the settings rendered skillfully. A wonderful place to escape for a reader in 2015.                        9/10

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