review: Mansfield Park Revisited

      Comments Off on review: Mansfield Park Revisited

mansfieldparkMansfield Park Revisited
by Joan Aiken

I’ve not actually read Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, but I have seen a film adaptation and so I know the characters and the story (though I am sure with inaccuracies, as is the nature of movie vs. book). The Susan Price of this novel is a kind, unassuming and helpful person, eager to put people at ease and assist in making the household run smoothly. Her nemesis is her cousin Julia, who sees her as a lowly and reaching poor relation — a burden upon the family. In this story there are several different possible matches for Susan, and all are explored through a series of gatherings in which Susan helps plan and Julia attempts to force her opinion and the hand of her unmarried sister-in-law, Miss Yates. Old acquaintances, the Crawfords, scandalously move into the neighborhood and unexpected relationships ensue. Redemption and forgiveness are major themes of this novel and though short, I do believe the true voice of Jane Austen can be imagined in this continuation.