Around 1000 pages
I have been reading this novel since Thanksgiving, which is pretty embarrassing for me since I consider myself a very fast reader. I only just finished today and I have to say, it is an enormous relief. I AM FREE!!
Okay, that makes it seem like I hated the novel. I actually enjoyed it. It reminded me heavily of Pride and Prejudice, which is one of my favorite books. However, if Pride and Prejudice was 1000 pages, I would have gotten sick of it by the end as well.
The story follows Camilla, who is a heroine with attributes that we are all really familiar with by now. Beautiful, kind, intelligent, and ladylike. So ladylike, in fact, that she is weeping, screaming, or fainting throughout the entire novel. I would no doubt have punched her in the throat if I was there. But that is neither here nor there. Anyway, the novel is mostly about her romance with Edgar Mandlebert, and the various misunderstandings between them.
However, when I talk about this novel Camilla and Edgar are probably the most boring characters in the novel. Indiana Lynmere, Camilla's cousin, is much more interesting. She is gorgeous but boring looking (I personally pictured January Jones when here character was described). She also a vain bitch and reading about her schemes was my favorite part of the novel. I also loved hearing about Camilla's brother, Lionel, who was a horrible douchebag. Bad characters are so much more interesting than the good ones.
Although, I did love hearing about Eugenia, Camilla's sister. Eugenia was horribly deformed owing to smallpox and a seesaw accident. She has to deal with worse problems than Camilla, such as dealing with suitors who are only after her fortune and the jealousy of Indiana, but bears it with a lot more fortitude. It was very refreshing to have a heroine who wasn't drop dead gorgeous.
When I look back at this novel, I love it. However, it was extremely hard to get through. I wouldn't have missed about 300 pages of this novel. Still, it is Burney and therefore excellent. I am sad that this is the last Fanny Burney book but also ready to move on with my life!
Fanny Burney originally named Camilla Ariella.
Referenced in Belinda and Northanger Abbey.