Inside Jane Austen’s “Mansfield Park” resides one consistent character. Fanny is too good even for Edmund. Mary, what a name for a selfish immature woman, provides an interesting contrast to Fanny. As Fanny tries to hide her love for Edmund, she must fend off the advances of Mr. Crawford. Two of Fanny’s cousins lust after Mr. Crawford, even though one of the cousins is married to Mr. Rushworth. Edmund tortures Fanny by announcing his love for Mary to Fanny. Shy, quiet Fanny represents the only pure person amongst all of this sin. “Mansfield Park” rips the concept of a love triangle from its pages. No geometrical shape is large enough to contain this lust mess.
In spite of all of these stressful events the book soothes the nerves with its slower pace. While reading the classics one relaxes enough to forget about deadlines, meetings, chores, and the lines at the grocery store. The dinner dates with the Grants that take place in a dining room where servants bring in trays of food and pour drinks into glass cups provides a nice contrast to a quick sandwich before a computer. After, a minimum of two courses with a cup of tea to finish the languid afternoon, everyone sits and chats for a while. It feels nice to sit around a table and play cards with family and friends. It’s better than attempting to make phone calls around bites of ham and cheese on wheat bread (the health nut refuses to take a bite of anything more fattening) because one will never clock out by five any other way. This book provides a great escape without the hassle of booking a cheap flight to some overrated vacation destination packed with tourists.