There are so many books to read, and there is so little time, that I rarely return to books I have read in the past. I’m continuously moving down the list, one after another, devouring the next book in line.
However, there are a select few stories that I crave repeatedly. My guilty pleasure books. My cures. Whenever I get a little stressed, lonely, bored, or when I just can’t figure out what I want to read next, these jump out off the shelves. They are my best friends, my confidants. They are my security blanket.
Their covers are worn, and I rarely lend them out, because I never know when I’ll need to read them again. They are: Secret Garden by Frances Hodges Burnett, Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, and the most important one, Pride and Prejudice by the wonderful Jane Austen.
When I found out Books & Brews was going to kick off their Monday night Book Club with P&P, I may have done a happy dance in my cubicle. And then I immediately downloaded it to my Kindle because *gasp* I actually loaned my copy out to my sister! I must really love her!
I have read P&P 10 times at least, but this time was different. I don’t know if it’s because I journaled all the way through, or if I’m reading it from a different place in my life, but there were so many things that I’ve never noticed in the story before.
The biggest one is that Mr. Bennet is a MUCH more complex character than I ever realized him to be. Sure, I always knew he doted on Elizabeth, and rolled his eyes at Mrs. Bennet. But he’s really not that great of a guy, is he? I always loved him because he was such a closeted introvert, but he also goes into town to cheat on his wife pretty much his whole marriage, and his daughters are well aware of it. The whole “If you don’t marry Mr. Collins, your mother will never speak to you again, and if you do, I won’t.” wasn’t so much teasing his wife as it was a pot shot. It makes Mrs. Bennet’s anxiety and nerves seem a lot less ridiculous.
Also, I had never paid much attention to Mary before, but she has a lot of very intelligent things to say. She fades in the background behind her beautiful, extroverted sisters, but I would be really interested to see who she would be today. A lawyer maybe, or a journalist.
I can’t wait to talk about this on Monday. I have so many notes and I’m excited to hear what other P&P fans have to say. Of course, this book is all about the love stories of Darcy and Elizabeth, and Bingley and Jane, but there’s so many other complexities that after more than one read you will find woven into the plot. Sometimes it’s good to come back to reread your favorites.
What book do you come back to again and again?