Saturday, January 20, 2007

Persuasion ~ Jane Austen

"Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Sommersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs, changed naturally into pity and contempt. As he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century - and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed - this was the page at which the favourite volume always opened:
'Elliot of Kellynch Hall'

The first paragraph of this classic Austen did not pull me in. I had to push and shove my way through the first chapter, but so glad that I did. I absolutely loved this novel. Anne Elliott is the second daughter of the above described Sir Walter Elliot and very much a down to earth young lady who does not put on the airs of her family. Anne is 28 when the story opens and was persuaded 8 years ago to give up the love of her life, Frederick Wentworth, as he was not deemed to be an acceptable match by Anne's family and close friend, Mrs. Russell. Anne has never completly gotten over her love for Mr. Wentworth, who returns from the sea as Captain Wentworth and has made his fortune. We are drawn into the heart of these two people who have tried to forget and move on, but each word and glance at the other only brings the past back again and again. It is a beautiful love story that anyone who has ever loved and lost can relate to. This one is a keeper for sure.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

This is the first book I have finished so far for the Winter Classics Challenge. It is a short story, about 150 pages long, that we all think that we know well. There have been so many plays and movies made based on this novel that we are are very familiar with the story. I urge you to read this one as I believe you will be surprised by parts of the story that are not depicted in the plays. It is a great gothic read, very enjoyable and easy to read in one afternoon. The story begins with Mr. Utterson the lawyer and his cousin out for their evening walk. They come upon a rundown door at the back of a building which prompts the cousin to tell a strange story about his encounter with a Mr. Hyde. The story is then off and running and the reader is drawn in to the twists and turns. This classic reads like a mystery with cryptic notes, murder and general mayhem. Pick it up. I think you will enjoy it....