The Beautiful Cassandra is a collection of short stories authored by Jane Austen earlier in her career. While meant for entertainment, these stories bring out nuances of the Victorian lifestyle that we’ve come to enjoy. In the tale Jack and Alice, conflicts of interest coupled with gossip about an eligible bachelor make for a moderately fun story. Others have to do with themes of marriage, wealth, norms of propriety and such. Whereas in another story, short humorous paragraphs convey the adventure that Cassandra embarks on.
Even though I read the book in a sitting, I didn’t love it as much as some of her other works. There was something in every story that kept it alive, but it wasn’t gripping in nature. Most of the stories in the collection had an element of love – be it unrequited or not. The last story was extremely peculiar and unexpected. A majority of the book follows a certain wavelength and then all of a sudden you read the last story which is on a different tangent. Some of the characters in the stories were portrayed villainously. They contributed conflict to the story. I liked Cassandra’s tale best of all. It’s written sort of like a diary entry. Would’ve loved to read more of it. All in all, the book was enjoyable to say the least but it was a little lackluster.
Ratings – 3 stars on 5