Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenMy rating: Romance
This is, naturally, not the first time I've read Pride & Prejudice. In fact, it was one of my high school set texts, meaning I first read it under duress at a tomboyish time of life when I could think of almost nothing worse than being forced to read classical romance when I wanted only dark sci-fi. That it nevertheless made a generally positive impression is testament to the originality and wit of Austen's writing, and moreover, the way that she manages - within the confines of a very sexist society - to give her heroine a spirit of real independence.
Upon rereading, I found Lizzy even more spectacularly determined, clear-headed, and sharp-tongued, than I had remembered. I laughed out loud at her rejoinders, and was cheering for her throughout her various verbal sparring matches. Living in a society where nothing is considered more important in a woman than her ability (or failure) to obtain a good marriage, it is bold of Lizzy to reject a proposal which would see her marrying "up" by a significant margin; her later change of heart is given enough motivation to seem plausible, without undermining her character.
The extent to which I enjoyed rereading this book makes me keen to pick up Austen's other books, again (in the case of Sense and Sensibility, and Emma) or for the first time (the others).