Yesterday I wrote about how I sometimes don’t like a book if I don’t understand it, and unfortunately that often happens with the “classics” that everybody else seems to love. But the good thing about being an English major is that I usually had to read those type of books in the context of a classroom, and thus eventually came to understand and like them. Which brings me to today’s prompt for the 30-Day Book Challenge: A book you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.
One such book for me is Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. This was the first Austen book I read, and I read it for a 19th-century English literature class. Before I read it, I had been under the impression that Austen’s books were stuffy, long-winded romances, but Sense and Sensibility was so much more. After hearing my professor pick apart little details in the book and piece together the various commentaries Austen was making, I found that her writing has quite a bit of depth and a lot of thought put into it.
At the same time, I also liked the book because it was accessible. Even though it was published in the 1800s, I still could relate to the characters. I have often felt like the reasonable Elinor Dashwood of my family, while my sister could pass for the more emotional Marianne. Perhaps there are not exactly the same methods of social communication and interaction nowadays as there were in the book, but digital communication such as texts and e-mails can be just as easily misconstrued as the handwritten letters in the book. Ultimately, the women in the book are struggling with ways to express themselves in a stifling society, which is something women still struggle with today.
Just writing about this book makes me want to reread it! What is a book that you thought you’d hate, but ended up loving?