Mansfield Park Read-Along ~ Week 1 Thoughts

The lovely and amazing Amber is hosting a Mansfield Park (by Jane Austen) Read-Along in the month of January!!!! Each week, we are discussing 12 chapters. We’re also tweeting as we go with the hashtag #MansfieldReadAlong!

No surprise, but I’m a *little* behind already (I blame it on life craziness and other really, really good books I’m currently reading). Anyway, this is my post all about these chapters following the format Amber has set. This is my first time reading Mansfield Park, so the read-along experience is adding to my excitement and absorption of the story!

Mansfield Park Read-along

Please go visit her discussion post to see other readers’ thoughts and post links, too!

Mansfield Park Volume I: Chapters 1-12

Discussion Format: your favorite quotes, general impressions, and three questions to answer for each week’s reading

Favorite Quotes

“It is unknown how much was consumed in our kitchen by odd comers and goers.” -chapter 3, the worrisome Mrs. Norris

“When he returned, to understand how Fanny was situated, and perceived its ill effects, there seemed with him but one thing to be done’ and that ‘Fanny must have a horse’ was the resolute declaration…” -Edmund, chapter 4 (this reminds me of a tiny part of North and South where Mr. Thornton has the wallpaper changed in consideration of Margaret ❤ )

“Her own thoughts and reflections were habitually her best companions; and, in observing the appearance of the country, the bearings of the roads, the difference of soil, the state of the harvest, the cottages, the cattle, the children, she found entertainment that could only have been heightened by having Edmund to speak to of what she felt.” -Fanny, chapter 8 (This is a telling passage, showing Fanny’s contentment in keeping things to herself and revealing her high esteem of Edmund’s companionship and conversation.)

General Impressions

IMG_20180103_205419_127.jpgBecause of my slight familiarity with the story (I’ve seen the 1999 BBC film only), I know a little of what to expect with how the main characters behave and are resolved. With that said, it’s a little surprising to me that so much focus is on everyone else at Mansfield Park while Fanny Price, the main character, seems pushed to the side. Clearly, the reader is to be most sympathetic with her and see how their treatment is influencing her life greatly. Maybe this minimum focus is intentional to make us feel her emotions, when expressed, more keenly?

The Bertrams are puzzling. Like Fanny, I care the most for Edmund, though he does concern me at times with his nearsightedness. The Miss Bertrams are just plain spoiled! And, the other men of the family, the Thomases (elder and son), haven’t been on the page quite long enough for me to judge them.

Mrs. Norris, the Rushworths, and the Crawfords are all colorful characters, if often self-centered, that are adding much humor and interest to the story so far. I’m anxious to see how entangled it all becomes — and how Fanny overcomes her situation.

3 Questions

1. Would you consider the Bertram family taking in Fanny to be a kindness in the long run? If so, why? If not, could it have been a kindness if they approached things differently?

Yes, in the long run, I think it will be. She is being raised to an advantage of education and exposure to a different class of people which was important at the time. Though I think she is treated as unwanted and as a nuisance at times, I believe her experiences are shaping her character. Thank goodness she has a kind friend in Edmund! That is the light in her situation.

2. If you were a governess teaching the Bertram children and Fanny, what lesson would you specifically choose for each of them (as kids or adults)? Feel free to have fun with this!

I would teach the Miss Bertrams about kindness and courtesy, Thomas Bertram about respect and the blessing of his family, Edmund Bertram about the danger of flirtatious women (ahem, Mary Crawford), and Fanny Price about bravery and the importance of her individuality (I think she puts too much stock into “standards” her relatives dictate).

3. Imagine you had joined the group on their visit to Sotherton. Which part of the tour would you most have enjoyed? Would we find you wandering the halls or meandering through the wilderness?

You would find me out in the wilderness, perhaps even climbing over the gate (but not arm in arm with Mr. Crawford).


What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my musings on Mansfield Park?

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Favorite Book Quotes About Books

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Favorite Book Quotes About Books

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

The official Top Ten Tuesday meme is taking a hiatus from weekly topics until August 15th. Until then, we bloggers are tasked with coming up with our own topics, if we want!

This particular list has been bouncing around in my head and in my “book journal” for a while. I’ve been noting and collecting a few quotes here and there during my reading routine about books. It’s super fun when you can share a love for reading with authors vicariously through their own stories. Further proof that books and stories are influential and important to life!

Top Ten Tuesday 10 favorite book quotes about books

10 Favorite Book Quotes About Books

1. “That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive – all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.” – Juliet in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

2. “I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in book that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.” – Juliet in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

3. “‘They’re as much your friends as they are mine. I don’t mean it in some strange or creepy anti-social way. I mean that reading forms your opinions, your worldview, especially childhood reading, and anything that does has an impact. So call them friends, call some stories enemies if you want, but don’t deny their influence.’ She popped up straight. ‘You learn drama from the Brontës; sense from Austen; social justice from Dickens; beauty from Wordsworth, Keats, and Byron; patience and perseverance form Gaskell; and don’t even get me started on exercising your imagination with Caroll, Doyle, Wells, Wilde, Stoker –‘ “-Lucy in The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

4. ” ‘You are your own person and I wouldn’t worry about the stories. We all compare our lives to them. That’s why we love them; they help us understand ourselves.’ ” – Helen to Lucy in The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

5. “I love coming to the bookstore. Cause it’s awesome. I take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. I love the smell of books. Of paper. Of coffee. Of coffee and paper. It’s poetically beautiful.” – Izze’s POV in Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations by V. Joy Palmer

6. “Books told stories. Books told us about ourselves.” – from A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay

7. ” ‘You put new meaning to the word bookworm. More like a book… boa constrictor.’ “- Blake Hunziker in Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg

8. “She still remembered the expression on his face last week when he’d finished and closed the last tome. He’d looked pleased and just a bit melancholy. She knew those dual feelings well – the satisfaction of completing a well-written piece of literature while also coming to terms with the fact that those few moments of pure bliss would soon be replaced with a longing for more.” – from Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray

9. ” ‘Within the pages of books one’s heart can be revealed.’ “-Sister Agnes in The Sound of Silver by Rachelle Rea Cobb

10. “John had once vanquised terrorists intent on killing him and the people he’d been guarding. She couldn’t even vanquish the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.” – from True to You by Becky Wade

Did you participate in this week’s TTT? What are some of your favorite quotes about books? 


Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Memorable Dads in Literature & #BookDadQuotes

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

The official topic is ~ Father’s Day related Freebiefavorite dads in literature, best father/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your dad, worst dads in literature, etc. etc.

Dads can offer that bit of wisdom you need to hear, the funny inside joke to brighten a moment, or the insight to looking at life in a new way. My dad was like that — ready to share his thoughts on the subject, if you sought out his opinion. And sometimes when you weren’t exactly looking for advice :).  Appropriately, this week’s topic leading up to Father’s Day is all about dads!

I had multiple ideas for this topic, but because it’s my blog, I decided to go with 2 different ones! First up, as in last month’s Mother’s Day Freebie, I’m listing 10 memorable dads in literature. I really *could* have just referenced the dads or father figures in each of those stories, from the “mom” list, but I decided to change it up and go with different books this holiday. Secondly, I’ve put together a few favorite book quotes from or about dads. Some of these match the 10 memorable dads in my list, too. Dads can offer that bit of wisdom you need to hear, the funny inside joke to brighten a moment, or the insight to looking at life in a new way. My dad was like that — ready to share his thoughts on the subject, if you sought out his opinion. And sometimes when you weren’t exactly looking for advice :).

10 Memorable Dads in Literature

Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg1. & 2. Case and Logan Walker in the “Walker Family” series by Melissa Tagg

3. Ben King (and his father Chet) in Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren

4. Reese Mitchell in A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham

5. Charlie Lionheart (nontraditional dad) in The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

271385786. Devin Bressard in the “Told You” series by Kristen Heitzmann

7. Morgan Spencer in The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann

8. Mr. D’Alisa in the “Two Blue Doors” series by Hillary Manton Lodge

To Win Her Favor9. Gilbert Linden in To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

10. Mr. Woodhouse in Emma by Jane Austen

And….. #BookDadQuotes

“I am nothing without God,” he said. “And I don’t ever want to try to be.”

– Charlie Lionheart in The Lady and the Lionheart

“Sometimes in life, when what we want most is just beyond our reach… and the ground beneath us gives way, we must grab hold of the nearest branch.” He closed his eyes briefly, “And hang on.”

– Gilbert Linden in To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

Over and above their love as father and daughter, they now had a common bond, a kinship that had nothing to do with blood. They were newspeople who loved the smell of ink and the demand of a deadline.

– from A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman

“…having faith is the bravest thing we can do. It’s the unwavering confidence that God loves us. That although we can’t see the road ahead, we can see God.”

– Chet King in Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren

There were no wracking sobs today, not like that day at the depot when he’d finally set free so many years of furrowed hurt. Let his dad encircle him with all the strength and comfort he’d pushed away since the day he’d left town. It has been an unshackling. A letting go.
Today was a holding on. To courage in the midst of fear. To faith in the midst of uncertainty.
To a father’s love he knew had never once wavered.

– from Keep Holding On by Melissa Tagg