Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review: The Watsons and Lady Susan

I have acquired the entire audiobook collection of Jane Austen books :) I decided to listen to them all in the order that they were written, so these two shorter stories came first.
The Watsons by Jane Austen is a short story about a girl, Emma Watson, coming home after living with her wealthy aunt for most of her life. She is pretty and proper and having a hard time adjusting to the manors of her siblings. She attends a ball and is thought to be very pretty and catches the interest of the local favorite bachelor whom she has actually been trying to avoid. He even comes to see her at home the next day - quite scandalous!

The interesting thing about this story is that it is only a small fragment of the bigger story. It really seems to not have enough development to have been meant to stand alone. It's sad that it was never finished because the little bit you can read is enjoyable.
Lady Susan by Jane Austen is a story about a social climbing woman. She is middle aged, very pretty, and very charming when she wants to be. She is also very cunning and is constantly on the look out for the next rich man that can set her up now that her husband's gone. She also tries to marry off her daughter to a man she hates simply because he has money. Luckily her true nature is exposed before anyone takes the plunge!

This story is written almost entirely of letters. Each letter is from one character to another and explains the plot through each person's point of view. The conclusion at the end is the only non-letter section and it is told through an omniscient narrator who explains what happens after the letters stop. I know this is a crude explanation of the book, but I wasn't too huge a fan. Most of Jane Austen's stories have a wholly likable main character who you are rooting for. Lady Susan is far from likable. The only consolation is that she doesn't get everything she wants in the end. I'm glad that I read this, but I can certainly see why it's not one of Miss Austen's better known pieces.

Sorry that neither of these is a very thorough review. They were short and I read them over a week ago. And I just can't do more at the moment :)

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