Confession: I have read Pride and Prejudice about 200 times… I’m always in agony over whether Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are really going to get together. Read it, I know you’ll love it!
– Meg Ryan, You’ve Got Mail
Up until a few weeks ago I had never read anything by Jane Austen…a tragedy, I know. But then it poured in Pompeii, Italy, and I had little choice but to stay in my hostel and read. So I cracked open Pride and Prejudice and quickly fell in love.
Pride and Prejudice has never been high on my reading list – I already know how the story unfolds, so where’s the fun in that? But I soon discovered that knowing the plot did not hinder my enjoyment of the book at all. What Meg Ryan says is true: you can’t help but be in agony over whether Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are going to end up together…
She was convinced that she could have been happy with him, when it was no longer likely they should meet.
(You might as well just throw down the book and weep bitter tears at this point.)
Whenever they do meet in the book (especially the second half) it’s often awkward and filled with so much sexual tension that you just want to shake them both silly. And Elizabeth is so feisty! So many times I wanted to high five her.
When I was in the Rome airport (after crying on the bathroom floor over everything that had gone wrong) I had to wait seven hours for the next plane to Romania. Thankfully, I still had most of P&P to read at that point. I sat in a corner and forgot about all my woes as the book consumed me.
Donald Miller writes about Pride and Prejudice,
I own a copy, but I have never read it. I tried. It was given to me by a girl with a little note inside that read: “What is in this book is the heart of a woman.” I am sure the heart of a woman is pure and lovely, but the first chapter of said heart is hopelessly boring. Nobody dies at all. I keep the book on my shelf because girls come into my room, sit on my couch, and eye the books on the adjacent shelf. “You have a copy of Pride and Prejudice,” they exclaim in a gentle sigh and smile. “Yes,” I say. “Yes, I do.”
It’s official: I’ve become one of those girls…
feel free to call me Meg Ryan from now on.