Do you ever find yourself coming back to a certain story at a certain time of year? I often re-read books during a specific month or season that I feel is inextricably tied to the book. Here’s what I’m reading right now to get in the spirit of the season.
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
Pride and Prejudice is probably the non-YA novel that I’ve reread the most. I have multiple copies of it, and it was one of the few English novels I took to Spain with me during my study abroad. I’ve even psychoanalyzed its characters.
For me, spring is a wonderful time to re-read P&P. The story takes place over the course of a year, so really any time is a good time, as all seasons contain some significant event, from Mr. Bingley’s arrival at Michelmas, to the Gardiners’ summer trip to Derbyshire. The beginning of April brings one of the defining moments of the story, Darcy’s ill-fated proposal to Elizabeth at the parsonage at Rosings. It is a perfect “Act II” moment, the low point in their relationship, but it becomes the starting point for change and growth in both characters.
I also associate the book with spring because that’s when I first read it in my junior year of high school. It was not actually my first Austen novel (I’d read Emma two years before), but it is the book that made me a Janeite. For my Brit Lit class, we had to do a multimedia group project, and one girl in our group was a talented artist, so we painted a big movie-poster-style piece of Elizabeth with Darcy and Pemberley in the background. I admit it was heavily inspired by the 1995 BBC miniseries, of which we watched all 6 VHS tapes, borrowed from the library, as we worked.
As the prototype of modern rom-coms, P&P is ultimately a happy, optimistic book–I think that’s another reason I enjoy reading it in spring, a time of new beginnings. Despite its cutting depictions of characters such as Lady Catherine and Elizabeth’s parents, and its sardonic quips about societal expectations, it still seems full of hope. It never fails as a pick-me-up, and hence I will keep rereading it whenever I’m in need of some cheer.