Because I finished my January book so early, I decided to read a book from my list of alternates for the TBR Challenge: Jane Austen's Mansfield Park.
Jane Austen is my favorite author (just barely beating out F. Scott Fitzgerald in recent years). My favorite book of hers is Pride and Prejudice, which I have read so many times I've lost count. Since Austen is my favorite author, you'd think I'd have read all her books. After all, when Fitzgerald held the distinction (and it is an honor, I assure you), the only book--nay*, the only story (since I've read all his short stories) of his I hadn't read was The Last Tycoon. Since it was unfinished at the time of his death, I've not felt compelled to read it, although I probably should.
In fact, I have not read all of Austen's finished works. I had have never read Mansfield Park or Persuasion or Northanger Abbey. I own multiple copies of compilations of her entire works. I have no idea why I haven't read them. The Penguin Classic copy of Mansfield Park I'm reading was even my husband's copy from a college class. I've always felt remiss in not having read all her works. I'm working on remedying that, which is why this one is on the list.
Having finished the book, I must say that as much as I love Austen and usually am very pleased with her endings, I thought the ending of this book kind of fizzled. I had originally thought I didn't know how I wanted the book to end, but that was apparently not true. The character who I wanted to like, and was just starting to like, I did not end up liking. Oh, well.
It was very well-written and a great commentary of the time on many issues, including society, education, wealth (or lack of), charity, love and principles. Another really good book by Austen. I personally did not relate to any of the characters. There was no Elizabeth or Jane Bennett for me to love, no Mr. Darcy to make my heart swell up. But I can appreciate the book itself and Austen's excellent writing.
*Can you believe I said "nay"? My head is apparently in the Austen world right now.
(Combined and edited from two posts originally on Cara Mama.)