My Rating: 5 out of 5
When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.
This book is perfection! It had everything I loved about the movie and more! As with most book-to-movie adaptations, the book contained so much more thought and insight to everyone's behaviour, and in a book such as this, understanding people couldn't be more important. And of course, a lot was taken out. Almost every meeting or dinner event in the movie, was in fact, 2 or 3, or 10 such events in the book. It is completely understandable that they were all condensed for the movie but kept the important dialogue. But, with all the added material, we see that Elizabeth and Darcy knew each other more than I thought. And that Elizabeth had the opportunity to develop feelings for him, and certain hopes for their future, even before she discovered his involvement in Lydia's marriage. I really enjoyed all the material that was new to me.
“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.”
I was surprised by a few things. I discovered that I like the characters of Mrs. Bennett and Mr. Collins even less than I did before. They were both mean. Mrs. Bennett made it quite clear that Elizabeth was her least favourite daughter, and that she didn't care what became of her, as long as she understood that her mother would not be taking care of her if she didn't find a husband. What a horrible person. Also, Mr. Collins I knew could be condescending, but he was worse than I thought. He told Mr. Bennett, after Lydia's marriage, that he should have put her out of the house and never spoken her name again. Wow.
“Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her.”
I really appreciated the amount of information that was given after both Jane and Elizabeth were married. For those who are not familiar with the 2005 movie, it finished with the line from Mr. Bennett, "If any young men come for Mary or Kitty, send them in, for I am quite at my leisure." The book had another 8 pages, which explained how the marriages effected the family on both sides. And I always wondered what happened to Mary and Kitty, so I was glad to find out what I could. I feel like I know Elizabeth and Darcy twice as well as I did before.
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”