Over the next few weeks, we will be revealing the remaining titles that will become the summer reading options for the summer of 2015. Students will select one title from a list of around five novels per grade (In the subject line of the post, “Freshmen” means that the book will be read by incoming freshmen, not existing ones, etc.).
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is one of the most well-loved English novels due to its sharp wit, indelible characters, and focus on human foibles. The Bennet family at the center of the novel features five unmarried daughters (each of them are “eligible to be married” but they live in a rural part of England where suitors are scarce). The family is headed by an acerbic father and hindered by a moronic mother, and Austen has drawn each daughter as her own person. The main focus of the tale is sharp-witted and strong Elizabeth, the second daughter, but the trials and tribulations of the other four daughters are also featured.
The novel is a comedy of manners, but modern readers still connect with this story where true love is seemingly thwarted, egotistical buffoons blunder their way through life, and catty women abound. Austen’s characters are well-drawn and memorable: readers choose to spend time with Eliza & Jane Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Charles Bingley, George Wickham, Mr. Collins, Charlotte Lucas, Lydia Bennet, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh over and over again.
By the end of the story, pride is deflated, prejudice recedes, and happiness abounds. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen could be a lovely summer read for you, if you so choose.