Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Last week was a busy week.

I finished Northanger Abbey and loved it. It was delightfully light and satirical. It pitted elegant, genuine friendship against self-serving friendship. It was delightful in encouraging reading as a pastime. The Amazon review says that it "skewered" the popular novels of its time, but I felt rather differently: the kind, generous, and genuine were all readers while the raucous delighted in intrigue and fast driving action. All in all I really enjoyed the story and the characters.

We went to a wedding in Cleveland on Saturday. The wedding was at 2:00 and the reception 6:30 which allowed us time to check into our hotel and take a nap. I also finished Mansfield Park during the 2 hours we had free. Again, a lovely development of characters. It pitted social classes against each other and made some commentary upon the actions of people of entitlement vs. people who had responsibilities. The eldest brother in Lord Thomas' household is vain and irresponsible, while Edmund the second son is caring, sensitive, and acknowledges Lord Thomas' principles and desires. Fanny, the young cousin, is taken into Mansfield Park to help alleve the poverty of her family and is a shining example opposed to her older female cousins who are selfish and arrogant - having been pumped up by their controlling Aunt Norris. A visit to her home shows Fanny that entitlement is not the only evil that works upon people, however. Austen manages to reconcile the whole story through plot and character growth in humor and elegance.

My only major disappointment with the Austen books so far is they end too quickly! The summing up of plot and characters is all held within the last two pages of the climax of the books.

We came home Sunday in driving rain. I was glad Jason was driving, and that I was not. We spent the day with my family and called his mom for Mothers' Day. I started, slightly, the new Mary Higgins Clark book: Daddy's Little Girl. I finished it last night (no, I didn't accomplish much of anything else yesterday) It was good, On the Street Where You Live was better, but I did enjoy Daddy's Little Girl. It was different from a lot of her books as it was written in the first person which helped the reader identify with Ellie better. It was less good in the too many loose ends, it only had a small summary of "a year later," and there were some slight inconsistencies and repetitions in the story.

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