Warning: Spoiler below! If you live under a rock and have no idea how Pride & Prejudice ends, don’t read below. Then go promptly to your bookstore or library and read the book.
I first read Pride and Prejudice after watching the movie You’ve Got Mail. I saw it in the theaters with my best friend Allison and her mom back in 1998 the day before I got braces. I remember that distinctly because I thought that would be the last time I ate popcorn for the next two years (middle school crisis!), so we got a large bucket and passed it between the three of us the whole movie.
Those who have seen You’ve Got Mail may remember that the movie references Pride and Prejudice a bit. It is first mentioned when Meg Ryan is writing Tom Hanks:
“Confession, I have read Pride and Prejudice two hundred times. I get lost in the language, words like ‘Thither. Mischance. Felicity.’ I’m always in agony over whether Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are really going to get together. Ah! Read it. I know you’ll love it!”
I left that movie in love with all things Kathleen Kelly (hair, outfits, apartment), and knew that I needed to read her favorite book as well. Of course all I knew about Pride and Prejudice was from the movie on “whether Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are really going to get together” and my little 7th grade self translated that to mean that it was one of those books that finished open-endedly, and leaves you wondering whether the two ever get together, long after the book ended.
Despite the fact that I hate books that end that way, I decided to give it a try.
It was hard to get into at first, since the 19th Century words were foreign to my small vocabulary. But I kept reading and soon I became engrossed in the plot and attached to the characters. I loved the Bennet family and the subtle humor. I loved the relationship between Jane and Elizabeth. I got so excited whenever I saw Mr. Darcy’s name on the next page, and I remember staying up late reading the last few pages. When I finally finished, I was so delighted and surprised to find out that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy indeed do end up together! It was such a happy ending, especially after such a depressing expectation!
I just finished re-reading it for the third (or fourth?) time this past weekend, and it still stands to be my favorite book ever. Ah! Read it. I know you’ll love it!
What is your all-time favorite book?