Top critical review
A slow but enjoyable trundle through Anne Elliot's life
on 26 September 2016
Originally posted on A Frolic Through Fiction
I had to resort to using an audiobook. For the first time in my life.
I really wanted to finish this before watching the adaptation on movie night, but I just wasn’t getting through it as quickly as I thought I would. Something about it just seemed really slow. I think it’s the fact that not that much happened. And when something DID happen, Anne wasn’t the sort of character to be in the middle of all the drama. So it’d sort of be told through a sort of secondhand judgement.
That, and the fact that I couldn’t seem to keep hold of everyone’s names. I’ve no idea why. I just couldn’t keep track of who’s who. I thought I’d get the hang of it soon enough, but even though I could remember a few of the main character’s names, everyone else’s was just lost on me.
And yet I still enjoyed it. I started using an audiobook found on YouTube ( Aimee's idea, not mine), and it somehow suddenly clicked better. Having it read aloud to me helped me pass through the book quicker…which is a bit confusing, considering the voice read slower than me. But I think it’s because I understood more hearing it rather than reading it. I wouldn’t pause for a while if a paragraph was particularly long – I’d just trundle on, letting the words sink in.
I think I just enjoyed this because of 1. the time period and 2. Jane Austen’s writing. Even though the story was somewhat slow, not much happened, and it was a bit of a push to get through, the things I love most about classics was still there. The main one being the sheer ridiculous way people react to the smallest comments or events – I find it hilarious to read about. Plus the elegance and classiness that comes with the time period. I just adore it.
Also, when it comes to classics I tend to struggle getting through the vast majority of them. This one was still relatively easy to read, considering I didn’t have to look up half the language used. Which I appreciate. There’s nothing I hate more than trying to read a classic but feeling a bit dim for not understanding.
As you can tell, this is a very mixed review. I liked it, but it was definitely one of the slower books I’ve read (in case I’ve not said that enough by now). Anne was a lovely character, and refreshing in the way that she wasn’t necessarily in the middle of all the drama – even if that did mean it felt like hardly anything happened. I loved how the relationships changed gradually through the book too – I could just imagine it happening that way back then. All the sophistication and uncertainty of what people are truly thinking is just fascinating to me.
So while it wasn’t my favourite of Jane Austen’s books (not that I’ve read many yet – but I’m getting there), it still entertained me and I’m glad to have read the character of Anne Elliot. She really is quite a lovely person.
Rated 3/5 stars