Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

29485885Blurb

A mysterious seaman hides at a country inn; cut-throats raid a sleepy English village; suddenly, young Jim Hawkins becomes the owner of a map leading to a lost tropical island and a fortune in stolen gold. Three adventurers–Jim, Squire Trelawney, and Dr. Livesey–set out to find the treasure. — But they trust the one they should most fear, Long John Silver. Charming, brave, ruthless, murderous, Silver fills the squire’s ship with pirates. And on the desolate, fever-infested island, the quest for gold becomes a deadly war of hide and seek. Desperate defenders against merciless killers battling over a cursed treasure won with blood, buried with blood, sought with blood. Incredible wealth that Jim and his friends can only claim…

My Perspective

Treasure Island is the story of how Jim Hawkins came to be in possession of a treasure map and the journey and adventure he went on with Doctor Livesey and Squire Trelawney to acquire it.

I’m really in the mood for adventure stories at the moment so this is exactly what I felt like reading.

I really liked Jim. He was an easygoing young man, eager to please, hardworking, quick thinking and he had a lot of courage. Doctor Livesey was also an easy character to like whether Squire Trelawney I found a bit too freely spoken and over confident. John Silver was friendly and very easy to like, which of course made me suspicious. The rest of the crew were typical pirates, or “buccaneers”, self interested, not too smart, violent and drunk on rum all the time.

The story was very interesting and well paced, keeping you on your toes and turning the pages quickly. I did find some of the language hard to understand at times however it added to the feel of the story so I wouldn’t change it.

Overall it was a really enjoyable story, well written and full of adventure. I would definitely recommend it if you like classics, adventure stories or historical fiction.

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

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Blurb

Taken from the poverty of her parents’ home in Portsmouth, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with her cousin Edmund as her sole ally. During her uncle’s absence in Antigua, the Crawford’s arrive in the neighborhood bringing with them the glamour of London life and a reckless taste for flirtation. Mansfield Park is considered Jane Austen’s first mature work and, with its quiet heroine and subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, one of her most profound.

My Perspective

I’m pretty proud to say that I’ve now read all of Jane Austen’s major novels, Mansfield Park being the last one. I’m a pretty huge Jane Austen fan so i think it’s only proper that i am acquainted with all of her works!

Mansfield Park follows the early life of Fanny Price, who at a young age is sent to live at Mansfield Park with her wealthy uncle, aunt and cousins, as an act of charity towards her larger, poorer family. Fanny is extremely shy and quiet however she soon adapts with the support of her elder cousin, Edmund. However with the arrival of the Crawford’s into the neighbourhood, much drama and scandal ensues with Fanny’s heart caught in the middle.

The story is well written with plenty of rich descriptions and character development. It is slower paced with a definite slow build up of tension and climax.

I’m not sure what i thought of Fanny. In some ways i really liked her, however her frail temperament really irritated me. I appreciated how reserved and thoughtful she was, especially in comparison with the other female characters. Most of the other characters annoyed me or i was indifferent towards. I really wanted to love Edmund however i could only just like him (and half the time i thought he was an idiot for being so blind). To be honest i was a little disappointed in the characters. It wasn’t that they weren’t well written – i just couldn’t grab hold of them and endear them like the characters in most of Jane’s other novels.

I also found the story ended very quickly and a bit oddly – it was wrapped up like an epilogue. I found this surprising because the novel itself was quite slow paced and nothing happened quickly.

Overall it was still a great novel, the intricacies of English society well explored. I would probably say it’s my least favourite Jane Austen novel though so if you’re going to start reading Jane Austen, maybe don’t start with this one.

 

 

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane AustenBlurb

Written at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Persuasion is a tale of love, heartache and the determination of one woman as she strives to reignite a lost love. Anne Elliot is persuaded by her friends and family to reject a marriage proposal from Captain Wentworth because he lacks in fortune and rank. More than seven years later, when he returns home from the Navy, Anne realises she still has strong feelings for him, but Wentworth only appears to have eyes for a friend of Anne’s. 

My Perspective

As i mentioned in my review of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, after visiting The Jane Austen Centre in Bath when we were traveling through the UK, I had an urge to start reading all of her novels.

Persuasion is the story of Anne Elliot. Having been persuaded to break off her engagement at 19 to Mr Wentworth, she is now 27 and no man has ever been able to replace him. Having left on bitter terms, he vowing never to forgive her, it has been eight years since they last met. However through family circumstance, their worlds soon collide once more.

Having watched the newest version of “Persuasion”, I already knew the general gist of the storyline. This did not take away from the story though as the book is a lot richer in detail.

It was well written in true Jane Austen style. For those not used to older novels, it was a little slow to start off with however that is the style of the time and I still found it interesting. You are given a lot of back story and information and it helps to give a greater depth to the story.

I loved Anne. She was sweet, good natured and steady. I also really liked Wentworth. The other characters were equal mixtures of frustrating, loveable, loathsome and charming.

I found that the ending fell a little flat. There was quite a bit of drama and suspense throughout the book and the ending didn’t seem to match.

Overall I really enjoyed the book and I would definitely recommend it to those who like period fiction.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey by Jane AustenBlurb

In Northanger Abbey, a young woman’s penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart. Austen’s first, this is considered by many to be among her most charming novels.

My Perspective

After visiting The Jane Austen Centre in Bath when we were traveling through the UK, I had an urge to start reading all of her novels. I’ve read the more popular ones: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma already, however I hadn’t read Northanger Abbey nor Persuasion. As both of these are set in Bath, I wanted to read them almost immediately! I started with the one that was written first, Northanger Abbey.

Northanger Abbey is about Catherine Morland, the eldest daughter of a clergyman. She is invited to travel to Bath with a childless couple she is family friends with in the village. Rather naive and innocent, her visit introduces to her both friendship and love as well as lies and betrayal.

If you’re not used to older novels, then the wordiness may probably get to you. I however, find it does not lose my interest at all.

The beginning took you almost straight into the story and it was a page turner from then onwards. Most of the time I could not turn the page fast enough in knowing what would happen next.

The characters were brilliantly written and you went from love to hate to outrage and everything in between. There were parts where I could have throttled some of the characters and I was in dread of what they would do next.

I really enjoyed the book and I love Jane Austen and her writing style. Her books always please. I wouldn’t say this was my favourite of her novels, I much prefer Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility – I found this wasn’t as well written as either of those – however it is shorter and was quite a quick read.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book however not as Jane Austen’s best – it is however, still amazing as Jane Austen is a brilliant author!