Posts Tagged ‘Hale’

I have a confession to make.  I have never read Pride and Prejudice.  I have the book sitting on my bookshelf but I have never read it.  Still, I have seen the movie.  Especially the two disk BBC version starring Colin Firth.  My mother is in love with that particular version of the beautiful love story between Elizabeth Bennett and the charming yet infuriating Mr. Darcy.  And from that story (and countless other cheesy romances) I have come very much like Jane to live the life of a hopeless romantic.  Yes, when it comes to love, I daydream about fairytale like happy endings where the two lovebird overcome amazing obstacles to be together.  Where, despite the odds, he falls head over heels for her and finds a way to make her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world every day of her life.  Crazy, right?

Well, Jane Hayes is exactly the same.  She measures all her boyfriends in terms of Mr. Darcy.  And she wants to find love.  Almost to a point of desperation.  In fact, she keeps a headcount on boyfriends (13 at the point in her life where the book starts).  Still, I somewhat shamefully can relate to Jane.  Before I met Brian, I was just like her.  And if Brian and I break up, will go back to being just like her.  In fact, even with Brian I am just like Jane.  I hunger for romance: cheesy lines, endless devotions, fiery passion … but then, don’t most women?  Anyway, Jane’s Great Aunt Caroline bequeaths her to every romance hungry woman’s dream: a trip to a resort in Regency-era England where Jane finally has a chance to have all her dreams of Mr. Darcy come true.  Still, things in any romance novel aren’t simple and Jane finds herself wondering what is real and what is not in this actor-heavy world.  How is she to decipher what is part of the game vs. what isn’t?

From the first page of this book, I was pretty much addicted.  After all, I finished it in two sittings.  Yes, I blew off homework and all my other responsibilities and sat with book in hand devouring page after page.  I loved Jane.  I could easily relate to Jane and the way she saw the world, the way she saw love.  After all, I’ve been in her position.  Haven’t we all?  Even though guys mess up and break your heart, there is a part that continues to hope that the next one will be Mr. Right, that the next one will affirm all your hopes and dreams and really love you.

“A couple of years ago, she’d toyed with having a therapist, and though in the end she’d decided she just wasn’t a therapy kind of a gal, she did come out if it understanding one thing about herself: At a very young age, she had learned how to love from Austen. And according to her immature understanding at the time, in Austen’s world there was no such thing as a fling.  Every romance was intended to lead to marriage, every flirtation just a means to find that partner to cling to forever.  So for Jane, when each romance ended with hope still attached, it felt as brutal as divorce.  Intense much, Jane?  Oh yes.  But what can you do?” (18)

While I’m sure this book is not for everyone, I recommend it to anyone who can relate to anything I’ve written here.  The book is humorous and slightly outrageous at times, but the story, at least in my eyes, is a worthwhile one.  It gives you a chance to escape everyday life and take a journey into the past.  While the etiquette and customs aren’t quite as good as the movies, they do a great job taking you away, if only for a few hours.  The book is more than just a romance novel praising the men of Austen’s age.  In a lot of ways, Jane’s character grows and fights with her desire to dream and her desire to be more pragmatic.  And at the end of the book, it makes you wonder whether or not one should ever let their dreams go.  I know I love the idea of hanging on to all my dreams until I make them a reality.

Overall Rating: B


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