Mansfield Park by Jane Austen: Book Review

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Mansfield Park
Title: Mansfield Park
Genres: ,

My Synopsis:

Fanny Price is taken in by her rich relatives when she’s about nine or ten years old. Most of the family either tolerates or pays little attention to her, but her cousin Edmund is unfailingly kind and concerned about her. Is it any wonder that she falls in love with him? But then some relatives of a neighbor come for an extended visit. The Crawfords are vivacious and Miss Crawford in particular is beautiful. What will happen to Fanny’s vague hopes for the future?

My Review:

I liked that Jane Austen was a little more barbed and pointed in this book. I can’t remember any specific examples, but there were a few times when I mentally thought, “Ouch! I can’t believe she wrote that!” It made the book a little more fun.

On the other hand, the book was too long and dragged in places. Also, I didn’t like Fanny. She was a little nothing. She was too shy and timid and never did anything to help herself. One of her aunts was verbally abusive to Fanny and Fanny never reacted except to think that she deserved it. The aunt really got under my skin too. This is Jane Austen, so she does eventually get served some justice, but she deserved worse. I didn’t really buy the romance either. Like I said, there was nothing to Fanny and Edmund was actually one of my favorite Austen heroes. I don’t see the two falling in love.

I’m glad I read this, but it’s not one of my favorite Jane Austens.

Reviewed October 14, 2008, obviously before I read Persuasion and fell hopelessly in love with Captain Wentworth.  Now I’m like, “Edmund who?”

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  1. I recently downloaded this for my Kindle. It's not on the top of my TBR, but I'm sure I'll get to it someday. However, like you, I get annoyed by mousey female characters — it may not be a great fit. Thanks for your review!

  2. I love Jane Austens writing, but this book wasn't my favourite either. My favourites are P&P and of course Emma. That one is soooo good. Just thinking about it makes me smile. 🙂

  3. +JMJ+

    This is one of my favourite Austen novels, actually. =P So I guess I fall into the second group Carin mentions.

    I love Mansfield Park for the character studies. Everything is driven by character so that everyone gets what he deserves in the end. I think that's why we don't really see Edmund and Fanny fall in love, but have to be assured in a sort of epilogue that they do. Fanny doesn't really deserve the love of her life yet–not by the usual standards we have for a romantic heroine (and especially not by the high bar Austen has set for herself)–so it doesn't happen in the story.

  4. This is also my least favorite JA – way too long. But it's my mother's favorite. I think there are 2 groups on Jane-ites. Those who love MP and those who don't. It's a good way to separate those Janeites you'll like and the ones you probably won't!

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