I have to admit that I was pretty embarrassed to have made it out of college with a BA in English Literature without ever reading anything by Austen. I had a horrendous experience in my Victorian Lit class, so maybe that is why I shied away for so long. But, Jane Austen has a new fan in me.
The story is, of course, about a sweet, charming, witty heroine named Anne. She lost her mother at a young age, is overlooked by her father and elder sisters, and at the age of 27, is seemingly doomed for spinsterhood. The book tells of her social interactions with her sisters and society, her male friends, and a spurned love interest. But one of the things that was most compelling to me about this book was Anne's relationship with her mother's best friend, Lady Russell. Lady Russell served in many ways as a surrogate mother to Anne, but they also had a real and genuine friendship. It made me wonder who might step into such a role for my girls should ever anything happen to me. I thought about how much we side-step getting really involved with other people's lives in the attempt to "mind our own business." And if that "minding our own business" actually contributes to our sense of loneliness and isolation. I pray that should anything ever happen to me, that some wonderful girlfriend of mine will love me & my girls enough to be in their business like Lady Russell was for Anne.