During the pandemic, I have returned again, after many previous readings, to Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."
My book is an old paperback, so old the sections were sewn together, the front cover replaced with a cut-down file folder, and the tape used has turned ugly brown.
But the text stays the same, even on these yellowed pages. Mrs. Bennet and Lydia remain flibbertigibbets, Mr. Bennet negligent. Elizabeth continues to overthink situations. Jane is too good. Mr. Darcy does his unexplainable turnaround. (And, I regret to say, he does not dive into the pond, as he does in the BBC film adaptation.)
I have reached the point in the novel where Lydia has run off with Wickham. Mrs. Bennet is in turmoil. The swift pace of the story carries me on. Will they find her? Will Darcy and Elizabeth — nay, Jane and Bingham, finally get together? I read on, suspending disbelief even after so many other readings. I can hardly wait to see what will happen.
Patsy Ramberg, White Bear Lake
Quarantine Reads are recommendations of soothing books during fraught times. Send your suggestion, with your name and city, to firstname.lastname@example.org.