Sometimes you get that wonderfully satisfying feeling of a decision being the right one. The other night, after posting, I picked up our copy of the complete works of Jane Austen and started on Persuasion.
Her writing style feels relaxing and enjoyable; like pulling on your slippers and curling up on the couch after a long day. It doesn’t surprise me that a lot of people have the impression of her as “dear old Aunty Jane”.
Which is odd, really. She’s shrewdly, bitingly satirical – you’d expect people to read it and either be offended or cry “Ooooh, burn!*” – and yet she comes across so warmly and gently that you don’t feel it. It’s like being savaged by a large tiger but not really noticing because you’re distracted by cute pictures of its kids playing with leaves. It’s an art that we would all benefit from mastering; the ability to make a point without making an enemy.
For now, I’m just enjoying reading about the varieties of idiocy afflicting the Elliot family of Kellynch Hall, though the heroine, Anne (of the soft-spoken variety), has alluded to a “he” who will no doubt prove important in later chapters. And yes, Anne is just as flawed as the rest of her house, but in more positive ways – she is meek, self-deprecating, and somewhat over-idealistic. That’s the impression I have so far, at any rate.
* I have no idea if this is what the “hip” people cry, but then I’m so tragically un-hip I put the word in quotation marks. 😉