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This may be Jane Austen's most controversial book - readers ask, is Fanny Price too good, too pious, too much of a doormat? Yes, of course she is. But she's grown on me over the years and with each reading of this wonderful, cynical, wise book.
Not Jane Austen's best work, but identifiably hers. She wrote this when young and her lack of polish as an author shows through, but the plot is predictably Austen. The themes---moral good vs evil, persons of substance vs the vapid--are also Austen through and through, as are the characters who feature in this tale of a country family torn by adultery and dishonor. If you've read another Austen and love her, then I recommend this, but don't make this one your first exposure to the joy that is a Jane Austen novel.
What red-blooded American woman doesn't like Jane Austin? Her use of language and development of characters is outstanding. Mansfield Park is one of her lesser acclaimed novels, but this is still an incredible novel. The audio book is read well by Maureen O'Brien. The whole experience made my morning commute something to look forward to!