Friday, 17 May 2013

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

What is it about old English that it feels as though no harsh word spoken could ever harm the receiver of them? Could it be the grace of the fluidity of speech? Or the mild but poignant way in which terms in the language is spoken? Or could it be the author, in this case Austen who despite never having married, understood the fairytale of love more than most who have experienced matrimony.
First published in 1813 but written years before under the title First Impressions, the story follows the experience of Elizabeth Bennet and Sir William Darcy, equally flawed due to their tendencies of prejudice and pride respectively. In the process of pairing the lovely Jane Bennet (Elizabeths sister) with the eligible Charles Bingley (Darcy's friend), Elizabeth come to loathe, respect and then love each other. One of my favourite parts of this read is where Elizabeth trots over to her sick sister form Netherfield traipsing though mud puddles that soils her petticoat, and presents herself with flustered glowing cheeks and wind blown hair to the genteel society. Causing a flurry of gossip from the socially superior Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst, without defending her the reader almost feels the turning in his affections for her from this point. Drama unfolds with the charmingly wicked Wickham, fear of loving beneath the social acceptance line and unwanted attentions for either the female protagonist or the male antagonist. Against all odds including time, they find each other and live in love.

The Lucky Series - Jackie Collins

Lucky Santangelo. The epitome of a kick ass woman triumphing in a mans world. When I first read about Lucky in the aptly titled book 'Lucky', I completely fell in love with this character, this force of nature who overcame obstacles in her life that befits any Mafia type movie worth its salt. Seven books altogether, we see Lucky growing from a rambunctious little girl who witnesses her mothers dead body floating in the pool of her childhood home to becoming a mother herself - years later after a forced teenage marriage by patriarch Gino; a tragic affair with Marco whom Collins frequently refers to as Lucky's first love;  a doomed marriage to tycoon and father of her former best friend; and most frequently overcoming enemies and stereotypes. Its profound that even though this character was first published in the early 1980's (though Lucky was born in the 1950's) , the character frequently defied the idea that a strong successful woman would be anything other than feminine or perform so called womanly roles i.e being a mother, a caregiver and a wife. We see the character growing from a normal little girl thrust into an early adulthood and literally claiming her place in the world. One of the underlying themes of the Lucky series is that solitude need not equal loneliness and in there you can find strength. As the family motto goes, "Never xxxx with a Santangelo".