Friday, April 19, 2013

Book Review: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park
By Jane Austen
Release Date: 1814
Source: Library
Summary: When the gorgeous Henry Crawford and his pretty sister, Mary, come to Mansfield, they have no idea of the commotion they will cause. There they find the Bertram family, with their beautiful daughters and handsome sons—and our heroine, shy and sweet Fanny Price. As the inhabitants of Mansfield Park become ever more involved with the Crawfords, a scandal of devastating proportions begins to unfold.

Review: Oh Jane. I love her books so much but there was just something different about this one. While change is good, I found myself longing for the strong, hard headed heroine I'm used to getting from her. Instead I got Fanny, who I just wanted to take and shake until she finally actually did something in the novel. 

When Fanny Price is young, she is sent to Mansfield to live with her Aunt, Uncle, and their four children. As soon as she arrives, Fanny acts as the silent, obedient girl she is expected to be. Nobody notices this wallflower of a child except for Edmund, the youngest boy of her cousins. Fanny grows up loving Edmund and being the good little girl she had fallen into being. When the Mary and Henry Crawford show up at Mansfield, scandal and chaos ensue, showing the real character of the inhabitants of Mansfield. 

From when we first meet Fanny, I knew I wasn't going to like her all that much. She just sat there while everyone else told her what to do and how to do it. Why couldn't Fanny do something for herself? Why wouldn't Fanny just speak her mind for once? I get that she's supposed to be this shy, sweet girl but at times I felt like the story wasn't even about her until well over 200 pages into the novel. 

I'm not saying this wasn't enjoyable; I loved reading about the crazy lives of the people living in Mansfield, with proposals, scandals, and romances. I just wish I had a stronger heroine to follow around, like Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice or Elinor from Sense and Sensibility. Instead, I got Fanny who simply enjoyed watching everyone live without living herself. By the end of the book, she started to grow on me, but she could have done something more in the beginning to be a more enjoyable heroine. 

In the end, I still really enjoyed reading Mansfield Park, it simply isn't my favorite Austen read. It was nice having such a different story from Austen, but there were things about Fanny that I was just not a fan of. I would still definitely recommend reading this one, but if your new to Austen, I'd recommend starting with one of her other, much more romantic and engaging novels.


  1. Fanny was Austen's favorite character, but I don't understand why myself. She is very different from her other characters, that's for sure. Have you ever seen The Jane Austen Book Club? They describe that book perfectly - It was like Star Wars but in reverse because they were raised together. So weird.

    What is your favorite Austen read?

  2. I really liked the movie of this one, but I haven't read the book yet. I have it though. Maybe someday I'll get around to it! Great review!


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