As a survivor of domestic violence I was raised in a rough home with rough words and rougher people. I played basketball and lifted weights as some feeble attempt to be strong and not be feel worthless. As an athlete you learn to walk hard move hard and make yourself large. So you can imagine as a jock and latchkey kid, what a Jane Austen novel would represent to me.
I inherited the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice and put it in on a day NOTHING looked good in my VCR collection. I put it on and was whisked away to soft spoken women wrapped in floral words and gentle men. It woke in me the longing for something more. More than just the wrong side of the rainbow.
I craved tea, gentle conversations, gardens and the never ending pursuit of good company. As a child I would look at my mother and say "There has to be something more than this" and here it was waltzing away on my television.
So you ask me what my life would be like with out Jane Austen? I would still be on the other side of the rainbow locked in a gray box hardening my self for a world that didn't have to be that way.