Wives and Daughters - Elizabeth Gaskell
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell
Pages (File Size): 404 (1103 KB)
Published: 2012 (Originally published 1865)
Challenges: The Classics Club
Genre: Classics, Fiction, Literature
Description: A classic 19th century romantic novel that addresses the constraints imposed by society between individuals of professional versus aristocratic social classes. (via Kobobooks.com)
Thoughts: This was my second book that I have read that was authored by Mrs. Gaskell and was very different from that first one, Mary Barton, which was primarily a tale of life in Manchester during the height of the Industrial Revolution. This book was very much like Jane Austen's books, in that it was situated in a middle-class, genteel provincial town about 20 years after the publication of Austen's books. The book does feel like Emma in the sense that it deals with a young woman of marriageable age who would be considered to be genteel and the town seems to be similar to that of the town in Emma, but what's different is that Molly doesn't try to meddle in the lives of those around her, even though her step-mother tries to.
And with that in mind, I quite enjoyed it. I realize that Gaskell had an agenda in this book by talking about provincial life before the Industrial Revolution was able to take over most individual's lives, both rich and poor, but nonetheless of her agenda, I quite enjoyed the book. While there were characters in the book that I ended up not really liking, for the most part, I liked the characters and felt that they for the most part had a bit of backbone, especially when it came to Molly at several points throughout the book. In other words, the characters in the book for the most part aren't exactly pushovers. Highly recommended.
Bottom line: I would probably recommend it to readers who have read Gaskell's other works, but I would recommend it to those who are fans of Jane Austen, as it does seem to echo a lot of the themes that are included in her works.
Pages for 2013: 13045