Mansfield Park by Jane Austen: Review & Link-Up
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Title: Mansfield Park
Author: Jane Austen (Reader: Wanda McCaddon)
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication Date: March 2009
Length: 14 hr 30 min (507 pages)
Series: Stand Alone
Audio or Book: Audio
Reason for Discovery: 2014 Jane Austen Challenge

From GoodReads:

Taken from the poverty of her parents' home, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with only her cousin Edmund as an ally. When Fanny's uncle is absent in Antigua, Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive in the neighbourhood, bringing with them London glamour and a reckless taste for flirtation. As her female cousins vie for Henry's attention, and even Edmund falls for Mary's dazzling charms, only Fanny remains doubtful about the Crawfords' influence and finds herself more isolated than ever. A subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austen's most profound works.

Due to Fanny's parents having more children than money, Fanny is packed up at a young age and sent to live with relatives. Fanny strives to be the best possible person that she can be. This is difficult at times, because some of her relatives aren't always the kindest people. 

This was a hard read, you guys. I almost DNF'ed it. I kept finding myself getting distracted while listening to this book during my commute and while doing chores. After struggling with the audio book for a few hours and not knowing what was going on, I read the plot summary on Wikipedia. Mansfield Park was the only Austen book with which I was not familiar. I thought it would be nice to go into the book without knowing the entire plot; however, this was such a bad idea. Once I knew what was going on, I started to follow the story a bit better. 

I can understand why Mansfield Park is not loved as much as Pride & Prejudice. Fanny appears to be perfect. She has no room to grow as a character. Because Fanny is not going on an adventure, we, the readers, are left twiddling our thumbs while waiting for something good to happen to Fanny. Although I felt very frustrated with Fanny (she just sits and waits for things to happen), she led me to be impressed with people who continue to do the right thing even when the world seems to be completely against them. I think I always thought it was easy to do the right thing all the time, but Fanny made me realize that it can be quite frustrating to do the right thing and never get your reward. 

Although I feel like I learned a lot from Fanny, I wish that the book was shorter. I think it was too long for learning an important lesson. Okay, from the little reading that I have done on Mansfield Park, there are all sorts of important tidbits to get from this book, but I must admit that I wasn't listening close enough to this book to pick up on other literary commentary.  

Audio: The reader was clear and crisp. There was no background noise. McCaddon was a good reader, but I didn't find her to be an amazing reader. I have to wonder if the written material was a bit more exciting, McCaddon would have been a more memorable reader.

I wish I could say more about this book, but I don't have much to say. I thought the book was fairly boring. There were some interesting parts, but overall this book wasn't my cup of tea. At the same time, I am glad that I finished it. I am officially halfway through my Jane Austen Challenge, and I feel like I am on the homestretch.

I give this book a 2 out of 5.
Just a reminder that the next book is Emma. There will be some information about Emma on July 31st and the review link-up will be on August 29th.

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