Fanny Price is an eight year old girl when she is invited to live with her well to do Aunt and Uncle the Bertram’s at Mansfield Park. Learning to find her place in the family and how to avoid Aunt Norris becomes daily routine for Fanny but when the Crawford’s move into the area things begin to change. Fanny is a shy young women who enjoys nothing more than taking the mare out for rides in the country or wandering aimlessly through the gardens. Her thoughts and ideas clash greatly with the Crawford’s who have seems to enliven and corrupt all the Bertram’s including the solid dependable Edmund.
I don’t mean to be harsh for all the people who love Mansfield Park but this book irritated me greatly. It is well written and an interesting story but the characters made me want to run my fingernails down a chalkboard rather than spend time with them. Fanny is insipid and spineless, she cries at the drop of the hat. Edmund is too self righteous and when he justifies his part in the play I could barely keep down my lunch, such arrogance. Within every Jane Austen novel there has to be at least one overbearing incredibly annoying character, the kind you want to close a door on mid sentence, the one that makes you embarrassed to read their dialogue, in this book that is Mrs Norris. She downright rude and mean and makes you cringe reading her passages. Without these character though a Austen novel would not be the same.
Other than the majority of the character annoying me I did enjoy the story and reading about the evolution of the character interactions. However with many Jane Austen novesl she spends most of the book setting up the story and developing the characters that the final resolution of the story is left to be completed in less than 20 pages. I found it a little disappointing in Mansfield Park that everything is nicely wrapped up so quickly and then the book is over.
This isn’t my favourite Austen novel but each book is different with a variety of characters and I think this is why Austen appeals to everyone. There is a character for all of us out there, which is your favourite?