The Watsons by Jane Austen
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Two stars seems pretty low, especially for an Austen, but this is an unfinished work after all, and as such it's actually quite good!
The problem is that the unfinished part seems mostly to be the plot. The Watsons meanders along quite aimlessly. A pretty girl goes to a ball. There is an unsuitable but nice young man there who all the ladies adore but who is not marriage material. There's an old man about to die, so his meager fortunate will probably be past on to his bevy of women (There's always an old man with a trunkload of women to look after in Austen's books), and there is a bit of controversy between said women, mostly regarding matrimonial affairs. It's all very ho-hum and in need of a tension injection.
Austen had gotten quite a few words on paper before this was left unfinished. Too many words without any discernible direction. It made me wonder why she would progress in such a manner. Why write all this with no clue what the plot will be? Maybe she hoped it would come along eventually and she good go back and wedge it in there.
Regardless, this is still a pleasure to read for its Austen-esque style. You can see all the set pieces in place and her usual characters are taking shape. I enjoyed just letting the words flow over me as she create her scenes. Beautiful stuff.
View all my reviews