North and South
by Elizabeth Gaskell
I read this book by downloading it free to my tablet from Amazon. It is the first book in a 'read along' organised by the blogger Be Sol Be. We read the book and review it on our blog or comment on someone elses. It was a difficult book to read and review.
Published in 1855 around the same time Charles Dickens was writing his classics, just to give you an idea of the timing.
The heroine moves from a comfortable life in the South of england when her father has a crisis of conscience. 'A crisis of conscience', something unknown in this day and age. The family move to a town in the industrial North of england where employment for most is hard slog in the cotton mills. She's telling the story of both sides, the rich employer and the worker.
At the same time it is a complicated love story between the heroine in sympathy with the workers and the owner of the mill.
The book is long and wordy and I only finished it by skipping passages and getting the nitty gritty. I read and enjoyed, years ago, Trollope, Jane Austen and Henry James but I think my tastes have changed. I am too used to reading fast moving, straight to the point modern novels now. This is a classic, and apparently a great one, and that's how they were written.
Years ago I would have read every word as I read anything in the English language including the small print in advertisements. Now these females annoy me for being so damn obedient, the descriptions take up paragraphs with lips and eyebrows and emotions. 'Affrighted girls' and 'trembling self restraint' slow down my reading. I want to get on with the plot and into the story.
The BBC made a mini-series out of the book . It seems to be very popular. See the TV version and then read the book.
The next book for us to read and review is 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens.
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