Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Abducted by Mansfield Park

Day #1 in my week long challenge of posting on my blog everyday, and I am ready!

We are going to start with a book I just finished last week, Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.

I was really excited to finish this novel because it is one of those books that has literally been sitting in my TBR pile for longer then I can remember so I am so glad to be done with it and get to move it to my official bookshelves.

I keep all my novels I haven't read on a different shelf from the ones I have. The books I have read tend to be a bit snobbish, they like to brag about how I gave them my undivided attention and some of them get such big heads that they forget about the time they spent on the TBR shelf. They tease and poke fun at the books I haven't read yet and make them doubt their ability to be an entertaining novel so it is best to keep them separated.

If I'm being completely honest, the only way I was able to get through Mansfield Park was to listen to the audio book, but I did follow along in my book so I was able to make notes and underline lines I did like.

Recently I had a conversation with my friend Tracy about the difference between reality and fiction. And how people can act a certain way in real life but when you have to read it in a novel it is infuriating. And I think that was the problem with Mansfield Park, it was way to realistic. Sure, at times, you want to slap Fanny for her devotion to Edmund, but in reality that is how girls act. Speaking from experience I can't tell you how many times I've fallen completely head over heels for a guy who never notices me. For that guy who you just no is completely perfect for you and if he would only take a second to consider you he would realize it too.

I am thinking of a specific boy in my past, whom I was completely infatuated with. Even in his imperfections I knew that we were perfect for each other. I knew that he only saw me as a friend, but I was certain that if he would just take another look and consider me, he would see it. But, like Fanny, I always loved him from afar. When we hung out together I never made any moves or flirted with him, I just waited patiently. And I know that my friends wanted to slap me out of it as much as I wanted to slap Fanny out of it.

Of course, because it was fiction, Fanny's story ends with a "happily ever after" and mine...well...moving on...

I love the movie Jane Austen's Book Club, and while reading Mansfield Park I couldn't help but think that I agreed with Grigg, what was so wrong with Henry Crawford anyway?

I loved Henry Crawford, but I think a lot of that was because I saw him as Barney on How I Met Your Mother. There is a scene on the first episode of the fourth season where Barney, the womanizer, is trying to admit that he has feelings for Robyn. And he goes on this spill about how he wants to hear about her day and tell her about his, smell her hair and hold her hand, blah blah blah, and the way that Neil Patrick Harris delivers those lines is hysterical.

And what made the connection for me was that in Mansfield Park there is a scene where Henry says about Fanny, "I only want her to look kindly on me, to give me smiles as well as blushes, to keep a chair for me by herself wherever we are, and be all animation when I take it and talk to her; to think as I think, be interested in all my possessions and pleasures, try to keep me longer at Mansfield, and feel when I go away that she shall be never happy again."

However, as much as I would have loved to see Fanny end up with Henry (had he not turned out to be what he turned out to be) I have also been in the position where your friends are forcing someone on you that you have no feelings for what so ever. So all of those scenes where Mary, Edmund, and Edmund's father, are really trying to force Henry on Fanny just made me feel awful for her.

All in all, I thought that Mansfield Park was a little on the boring side although it did start to come around towards the end. Maybe if Jane Austen had cut out the five chapters in the beginning that they spent picking a play to preform it could have gone faster. I mean seriously, FIVE chapters! Was that really necessary Jane?

I have only read 3 of Austen's novels and so far she is batting 1-2. I wasn't much of a fan of Sense and Sensibility either, but Pride and Prejudice I loved.

Okay, well, that is my first review for the week and I will see you tomorrow with either my review on Dash and Lily or The Duff. Have a great day!


Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I've seen the movie version of Mansfield Park, but I've never read it. If I ever do, I might have to go audio like you did. Maybe the whole "choosing the play" plot line came from Jane's real life, which was why she focused on it...

I really need to up my posting to, I am soooo behind on reviews!! Ugh, I need a 24 hour blogathon, where I just write up future drafts of blogs.

Since you're probably at work, just wanted to let you know that Michelle is on board for the literary tattoos!! Woot!

Also, here's the link to sign up for the Readathon:

I hope that I get assigned to your blog as a cheerleader, because I am gonna bring the readathon cheer! Heck, I'll cheer us both on regardless. Now, to work on my pile o'books for the event...

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

Man, the books you've already read are mean! I feel sorry for your TBR books! Mine are all mixed in together on one shelf, but once I get another bookshelf (I'm in dire need of another one) I might have to separate them to save those TBR books some pain! ;)

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