Cecilia: A Book Review

Wow, so it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I know I said I would try to post more frequently, and I am still trying. It is easier said than done when you are married, and in school, and working. Things have just been crazy lately. School alone has given me two nights without any sleep whatsoever this semester. The professors apparently got word that this is my last semester and they want to work every little bit of effort out of me. Papers and books have just been piled on more than ever this semester.

One of the books I just finished reading is the longest book I’ve ever read. It’s Cecilia by Frances Burney. It was 941 pages. I finished it Thursday morning at 1:30 AM. It was a great read and I wish I could have read it at my leisure than on a rushed schedule. However, I am very glad that my professor made me read it. The story is about a young girl, Cecilia (obviously) whose parents have both died and now so has her uncle. They have left her a grand inheritance due to the lack of a male heir. This was a big deal for a woman in this century (late 1700’s). However, her uncle’s will stipulated just one thing: if she marries, the husband has to take her last name! Ridiculous, right? Well not so much when they live in a time when you either had name or money and everyone wanted to keep the family name going.

That’s what caused all of the problems for Henry VIII, he just couldn’t get a male! Man, those stupid wives just couldn’t give him what he wanted. Anyway, that’s another post for another time (probably not really).

So the 941 pages tracks Cecilia’s coming into society out of the country and into a world unknown to her. She’s been very well educated (also unheard of for a female) so she becomes the epitome of every male’s idea of a perfect wife. But not for her pretty face and bright mind, no, they want the money attached to her name.

So you’ll follow Cecilia through the ups and downs and misinterpretations of appearances, the struggles to overcome emotion with reason, and choosing duty to other over duty to self, she’ll struggle with virtue and trust. But you’ll have to read the story to find out how she does in this new world. You’ll laugh–definitely. You’ll cry–possibly. You’ll scream—certainly. You may even want to throw the book out of frustration—but please don’t. This is a book definitely worth reading the entire 941 pages. Also, just to throw this in there, if you like Jane Austen’s novels then you’ll love Frances Burney’s. Austen is thought to have copied some of Burney’s work, and Burney was Austen’s favorite author. So that alone should be enough reason for you to pick up a copy and read it.

Oh, but you don’t have a copy? No problem. Simply go here: http://www.amazon.com/Cecilia-Memoirs-Heiress-Oxford-Classics/dp/019955238X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333738218&sr=8-1 and you can buy the exact copy I read (I know, exciting right!). Or if you have a kindle then go here: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Novels-Burney-Annotated-ebook/dp/B0060GDBI6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1333738218&sr=8-2  I mean it’s only 99 cents if you have a kindle, and that’s for ALL of her novels, not just Cecilia! And $10 for a paperback really isn’t that bad either. I’m pretty sure I paid around $15 or $20 for it at my school’s bookstore.

So anyway, it’s a great read. It will grab and keep your attention. Oh, and if you’re wondering, it’s not a Romance Novel, though at times you may think so. Shoot, there’s even a duel! So go buy it, read it, love it, and tell them Libby sent you!

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