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Mansfield Park Read-Along Week #2



It’s the second week of the Mansfield Park Read-Along, hosted by Amber. This week, things have really started to pick up. Lots of things have taken place and we’ve gotten to know the characters better. I’m excited to discuss these chapters, so let’s get to it!

Favorite Quotes

“Henry Crawford had destroyed her happiness, but he should not know that he had done it; he should not destroy her appearance, her prosperity, too.”

“And how much more their tenderhearted cousin who wandered about the house and thought of them, and felt for them, with a degree of affectionate regret which they had never done much to deserve.”

General Impressions

Henry Crawford is evil. Seriously, he’s definitely in the ranks of John Thorpe, Whickham, and Willoughby. Actually, he may be worse. Grr! He is just awful. Okay, enough about him. I’m really starting to love Fanny and can see why Jane Austen was so endeared to her. She’s nice and sweet and I just feel so sorry for her being stuck with such self-centered people. Edmund still has me conflicted. At times he seems like a nice guy and he does look out for Fanny, but other times I want to shake him because of this thing with Miss Crawford. Like, are you blind, Edmund!?

It is nice to see Fanny reunited with her brother. They seem to get along well, and it’s good for them to have to visit each other.

Discussion Questions

1: If you were one of Maria’s parents, what might you have said to her before her wedding?
This is a tough question. On one hand, the further she is from Mr. Crawford, the better. But on the other hand, if she doesn’t love Mr. Rushworth, she’s just going to make everyone miserable.

2: What are your thoughts on the friendship between Fanny and Miss Crawford? What would you recommend to improve their relationship?
I think that Miss Crawford is only interested in befriending Fanny because she’s bored. And I think Fanny only “befriends” Miss Crawford to be nice. If I were meeting these two in person, I would warn Fanny to be careful with Miss Crawford, and I would tell Miss Crawford to adjust her attitude.

3: Consider Mr. Crawford’s sudden interest in Fanny or Edmund’s admiration of Miss Crawford. What makes them so attractive to these guys? What would you consider to be valid reasons for falling in love?
Well, in my attempt to put this as delicately as possible, I think Mr. Crawford is attracted to every woman, no matter what, and simply wants to them to fall at his feet wherever he goes. As for explaining why Edmund is attracted to Miss Crawford, that befuddles me. I don’t get why Edmund would “fall in love” with someone like Miss Crawford. Maybe it’s her looks? Whatever the case, she isn’t a good match for him and not what I’d expect a 19th century clergyman’s wife to be.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I’m excited to read the rest of the book and discuss with you guys. Until then…


-Miranda Atchley

Lately 1.13.2018



Hello readers and friends! I hope you’re all doing well. Things have been pretty quiet around here. The year started off as one of the coldest I can remember. We had a few flakes of snow, but not enough to cover the ground. In the midst of the frigid winter, I’ve been mostly staying inside reading and doing some writing. Here’s what that has consisted of.

Writing

I’m still working on the next book in The Abi Hensley Series. It doesn’t have a title yet, though I am making progress. Of course, there are some days when I have more trouble with, but that’s simply the way it goes sometimes.

Reading

Mansfield Park! It’s so fun to read in a group. I’ve read a few other historical novels, too. For my Goodreads challenge, I made a goal to read 100 books this year. What about you? How many books do you want to read this year?

  Thank you for stopping by today. I appreciate your visit! I hope you all have a great year.


-Miranda Atchley

Mansfield Park Read-Along Discussion #1



Hey readers and friends! Today I present you with my contribution the first discussion of the Mansfield Park Read-Along, hosted by Amber.

General Impressions

I have to admit, this one is starting out a little slow for me. I don’t dislike the book at all, it just doesn’t catch my attention quite the way some of Austen’s other novels do. I do like Fanny. She is quiet and we haven’t heard a ton from her so far, but according to what we have heard, she seems sweet. The Bertrams on the other hand…. Lordy! They’re something else. I think Edmund seems all right. He’s not a bad sort, but not my favorite hero. I really don’t care for Maria or Julia. They are rather spoiled. Their mother and father are awful. And the Crawfords. Henry does annoy me, as does Mary. They certainly think a lot of themselves!

Discussion Questions

Would you consider the Bertram family taking 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?
I’m sort of torn on this question. I almost think that perhaps it was kind for them to take Fanny in. I can remember from the first time I read this novel that the Price home is not a happy one. Yet the Bertrams are not a very happy family, either.

Imagine you had joined the group on their Sotherton trip which part of the trip would you have most enjoyed? Would we find you wondering the halls or meandering through the wilderness?
Probably a bit of both. It seems like a neat place. I would want to see the inside of the house as well as the grounds surrounding it.

Thanks for stopping by today! I’m looking forward to reading the rest of Mansfield Park and our future discussions.


-Miranda Atchley

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Wanted To Read in 2017



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

So we all know that every year thousands of books are published. Many of those books catch our attention and we add them to our to-be-read lists. Yet sometimes, we just can’t get to them when we’d like to. Today we’re dealing with just that subject. For this Top Ten Tuesday, we’re listing ten books that we wanted to read in 2017, but just didn’t get to. And without further ado, here’s my list.



10: Jane of Austin
I’ve heard mostly good things about this book. It’s a modern take on Sense and Sensibility, which is one of my favorite books, so I’d like to read it sometime.



9: Maud
L.M. Montgomery is my favorite author. I would love to read this novel based on her teen years sometime.




8: The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey
I really liked the first two books in The Regency Brides. They’re good regency romances. Looking forward to seeing how the series wraps up.



7: Behind The Scenes
I read the prelude to the Apart From The Crowd series, At Your Request, and really enjoyed it. I hope to read the novels someday.




6: Anon, Sir, Anon
I don’t think this book was released last year, but after reading Heffington’s Fly Away Home last year, I added this historical mystery to my want-to-read list. Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to reading it last year, but I do have it on my Kindle and am looking forward to reading it this year.



5: A Dangerous Legacy
This book has been everyone online lately! It seems like a really interesting read.



4: The Valley of Fear
Obviously, this book was not published in 2017. I started reading the Sherlock Holmes mysteries last year, and this is the next one up for me.



3: A Heart Most Certain
I just downloaded this book and it seems like it will be a great read. Can’t wait to read it!




2: As Time Goes By
I loved the first book in The Mulligan Sisters series. It’s a really great WWII novel that I’m pretty sure is my favorite by Melody Carlson. I’m really looking forward to revisiting the series.



1: A Name Unknown
This book sounds really interesting. It’s set during the Edwardian era which is my favorite. I can’t wait to read it someday.

So how about you, readers and friends? Were there any books you really wanted to read last year, but just didn’t get a chance to? Tell me about them in the comments!

-Miranda Atchley


A Trip To Regency England | Review: The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

by Katherine Reay

About The Book
Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuinely enjoys her job and her colleagues—particularly a certain adorable and intelligent consultant. But something is missing. When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways.
But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath. While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.
Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings arise, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation, work out their lives and hearts.

My Thoughts

Like Reay’s other novels, I did enjoy The Austen Escape. I love seeing the classics appreciated and the references to Austen’s novels. And the visit to an English manor house, wearing the costumes and pretending that it’s the early 19th century…. Gotta admit, it sounds pretty fun!

Mary was probably among my favorite Reay heroines. I think she was a more down to earth character. Isabel was a different story. While at times I did feel sorry for her, she was a very irritating character. Yet one thing I think a lot of people would relate to Isabel on is the want to “escape”. While many of us don’t take it as far as she did, I think most of us do want to escape reality when things get too hard.

In the book there was a reference to Northanger Abbey and the thought that Catherine Morland seemed overshadowed throughout parts of the book, yet became the heroine of her own story by the end. I think it was the same for Mary. At times, it seemed like Isabel was taking over the story, though as the book came to an end, Mary took charge, started making her own decisions, and became a heroine.

One thing that I do wish were different about this book is how seldom God is mentioned. While I don’t like authors that beat you over the head with scripture, I do wish that faith, prayer and God was mentioned more in this book, especially since it is marketed as Christian fiction and is published by Thomas Nelson.

All in all, I thought The Austen Escape was a good book. Fans of contemporary fiction that appreciate the classics will definitely enjoy this novel.


I give this book 4 out 5 stars.

Books Read in 2017



Can you believe that the year 2017 is almost over? I can’t. Sometimes it felt like it dragged a little, but for the most part, it zipped by! And now that the year is ending, it’s time to look back at the year and what all took place. In this case, I’m looking over what all I read. Would you care to join me, readers and friends? Below I’ve listed all the books I read this year and gave a rating on a scale of 1-5 for each book. So without further ado, here are the books I read in the year 2017.

January

February

March

April

May

June
Rally 'Round Green

July
Winter -3

Mansfield Park Read-Along



Hello readers and friends! I checking in with a quick post to let you know about the Mansfield Park read-along Amber is hosting. It begins January 3rd. Read further for more details.

  • We'll read 12 chapters per week over 4 weeks (for a total of 48 chapters).
  • Discussions will take place here on Wednesdays (the 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st).
  • You can start reading on the 3rd, or feel free to begin right away!
  • Use the hashtag #MansfieldReadAlong on Twitter to share in-the-moment thoughts and favorite quotes. 
Can't wait to read another classic with this group of friends!

-Miranda Atchley