This is another of my Book of the Month club reads.
The Bennett's have five unmarried daughters—from oldest to youngest, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia—and Mrs. Bennett is desperate to see them all married. When the news that a wealthy bachelor Charles Bingley has rented the manor of Netherfield Park, Mrs. Bennett begins scheming to marry one of her daughters to him. At a ball that the Mr. Bingley and the Bennett girls attend we are introduced to Mr. Bingley’s friend Mr. Darcy. Mr. Bingley is quite taken with Jane, and Mr. Darcy is quite untaken with Elizabeth. Over the weeks as he interacts more with Elizabeth this begins to change. There is a mysterious fiancé and hurt feelings, but in the end Jane and Mr. Darcy reconcile and marry. This is classic Austin, I know that she has many fans and I know that when she was writing she lived in a different era for women, but I am just not able to reconcile the facts with me feelings. Being a on a constant husband hunt bores me, and yes Jane does assert some independence, but she is still a husband hunter who fears being a spinster school teacher. At least she isn’t willing to settle for the first bloke that asks or she would have been unhappily married to Mr. Collins, so there were some indicators of a strong woman. I think this is one of the reasons I can’t classic literature, I always want the heroine to say the hell with it and decide not to succumb to society and run off and become a successful businesswoman who never marries, even though I know it will never happen. Overall, though once my irrational suffrage rights feelings are set aside, it wasn’t a bad book. Little long winded in some spots, but that is the genre. Austen is a classic because she is a good writer and she tells a good tale. Overall I would say it was a 3 star read.