"Persuasion" and "The Incident Report"

Persuasion by Jane Austen

This is not my favourite of Austen's books but I love reading it anyway. In this one the main character is a woman who, in her youth, broke off a relationship with the man she loved because of her family's disapproval. All of Jane Austen's novels end happily ever after and this one has the same predictable outcome when the man shows up in her life after a few years and they renew their acquaintance. I wish there was more dialogue between these two characters, but there are only a few very brief meetings before they finally get together and reveal their feelings for one another. Until then it all happens in her thoughts, which is a bit disappointing. As I said, I like her other novels better. I'll keep reading them all though because there's simply nothing like Jane Austen's writing. It's in a class by itself.

The Incident Report by Martha Baillie

This wasn't what I expected. I'd read reviews saying it was the (fictional) record book of a librarian writing up reports on various incidents taking place in the library, but the tone and the direction the story took were quite a surprise. Because the main character is a female librarian I was thinking it might have a "Miss Read" or "Anne of Green Gables" feel to it. Wrong. It started out with a couple of funny incidents but the stories get much more serious as it continues. This is an edgy librarian - two words not often used together, I suspect. Many of the incident reports are about her personal life, though the book was supposed to chronicle events happening in the library. Toward the end it gets much more intense than anything I expected. I wasn't disappointed with it, just a bit disconcerted because it was so far off what I was expecting. I think I liked it. I know I'll remember it.


Melody said...

Persuasion is my favorite Austen, but it is very different from her others - more introspective and a little more melancholy I think. I also really liked Northanger Abbey - her two oddballs! Which your favorite?

Ordinary Reader said...

Hi Melody. I like Pride and Prejudice a lot but I also love Emma. After I read one I decide that's my favourite, until I read the other one. Oh how I wish there were more. :)

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