My book club has been meeting every 6-8 weeks for 2 years now. In that time we have covered So Much For That, A Fine Balance, One Day and the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomena. We have encountered parents that abandon their children, virgin cures, Southerners rising up against racism and the tempestuous relationship between a writer and his naive wife.
And in all this time I had no idea that I was among Pride and Prejudice virgins.
I can’t remember exactly how it came up but it turned out that at least half of the girls had never read it! Which for me, amounts to blasphemy.
I should probably take this moment to let you all know that Pride and Prejudice is my number one all time favourite book ever. Nothing will ever usurp its place in my mind as being the single greatest book of all time. When I move and I get to set up my bookshelves again, it is the first book I put back. I have at least 4 different copies and always look for other pretty additions to add to my obsession. I watched the miniseries when I was 11 and my mom told me it was a book and I read it. And didn’t understand the whole thing. But I knew I was in love.
Since that time I have probably read it a million times. There was one summer when I was in Holland that it was the only book I brought that I could stomach reading more than once. I would finish it, take a moment to reflect on its most perfect ending, and start again from the beginning. When it was one of the books on the syllabus in grade 12 I re-read it for pleasure but didn’t have to attend the classes on the book because I knew it so well.
So, I just don’t understand how any woman can have made it to their late 20s without reading it at least one time! It’s the most perfect story ever. I mean, we’re all over reading Fifty Shades of Grey and apparently we have no issues with the eroticization of Jane Eyre (probably best not to get me started on that) but to never have even read Pride and Prejudice? The most perfect example of the manipulation of the English language to evoke love and feeling and human nature? I don’t get it!
If you haven’t read it yourself, please don’t tell me. My heart can’t take it. Just do yourself a favour and pick up a copy and read it. Then tell me how much you loved it. Book club is going to remedy this catastrophe by reading it. And then we all get to watch Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy.
The ultimate reward.