Read because: I love everything else by Jane Austen, but despite numerous starts, I never got into this one before.
Purchased from: Who knows. I’ve had a copy forever.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Summary (from Amazon): At the age of ten, Fanny Price leaves the poverty of her Portsmouth home to be brought up among the family of her wealthy uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, in the chilly grandeur of Mansfield Park. She gradually falls in love with her cousin Edmund, but when the dazzling and sophisticated Crawfords arrive, and amateur theatricals unleash rivalry and sexual jealousy, Fanny has to fight to retain her independence.
My Review: I’m not sure how I never finished Mansfield Park before, especially since I’ve devoured all of Austen’s other novels. I’ve picked it up a few times before, but never really made it very far in. Finally I got into it this year. It’s good, but not nearly my favorite. The heroine, Fanny Price, is timid and shy and a little self-righteous. I like Austen’s other women a lot more. This is probably the least romantic of all of her novels, and as a sappy girl, I prefer the romance. But I really liked how Austen wrote the characters of the Crawfords–especially their scheming, and how Fanny, every once in a while, isn’t able to keep it all together. It made her character more realistic. And her Aunt Norris was so well written — I could picture her more than anyone else in the book. Overall, I enjoyed Austen’s wit and most of the characters, but it didn’t measure up to her other novels. (Finished 5/20/09)