Tilly is reading Pride and Prejudice.
Early in the year she asked everyone she knew to recommend their favourite books, and books they thought a person must absolutely have read in their life time. She has made a list of these books and is steadily working through them, in between compulsively reading thrillers.
I wondered what she would make of Pride and Prejudice.
It certainly isn’t thrilling, or her other favourite genre, fantasy, and the language is more challenging than other things she has read. It is a book that bears slow reading until you get used to its rhythms and cadences.
I have been keeping my eye on her as she has been making her way through it.
It has been lovely to watch.
First she put it down a lot. I think she found the slow pace and the language frustrating. She is nothing if not persistent though, so she kept on picking it up and having another go. Gradually her tolerance has grown, and she has been immersed in it.
Every now and again she will smile as she reads. This has led on to a few chuckles here and there, and quite a few tsks.
Then there are the comments.
‘Mr. Collins! What is he like?’
‘Mr. Wickham is a bit of an arse isn’t he?’
‘I love Mrs. Bennet. She reminds me of X.’
and today, as she was supposed to be sorting out tortoise breakfasts, but was just ‘Finishing this chapter first.’
I said: ‘What?’
‘Oh! Mr. Darcy has said he loves her. Oh!’
Later this afternoon.
‘He’s written her a letter to explain why he’s being an idiot. Oh!’
I think she’s hooked.