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A Murder At Mansfield Park by Lynn Shepherd

By StephanieMichelle, Bledsoe, KY

Years ago, when, after dragging myself through what I have since come to think of as the literary equivalent of quicksand, I slammed the front and back cover of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park together for the first and last time and in a fit of frustration shoved the offensive thing back into it's place on my bookshelf, I swore to everyone who would hear me that I would never return to that place again. Words cannot express how much I adore the works of Jane Austen: I am a Janeite in the purest sense and will hear not one unpleasant word spoken against her: save for a discussion on Mansfield Park. I could not --- I literally *could not* enjoy the book. It was a physical impossibility. Had someone have offered me a million dollars to say something positive about Mansfield Park, I would have forever gone hungry. Jane Austen once said of Emma Woodhouse that she wrote "a heroine who no-one but myself will much like.

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