Friday, November 30, 2012

Wives and daughters


It may be sacrilege to say this but I think Elizabeth Gaskell is a better writer than Jane Austen. I like both authors but Gaskell's writing is more mature with greater depth. I read this book after seeing the excellent BBC adaptation.

Molly Gibson's father, a widower, remarries not only for love but for the sake of his daughter. But Molly is concerned about her father's new wife. The new Mrs. Gibson is a refined governess, but tends to be a bit silly. Molly struggles to love her new mother while caring for aging neighbors - with handsome, available sons. Mrs. Gibson pushes Molly toward attachments which cannot happen. Secrets abound on all sides and the journey is truly rewarding.

This is Gaskell's last book, barely finished before her death. Some editions of the story wrap up Molly's story (especially the movie) and others leave you hanging. I love the dialogue and witticisms in the story. There were various passages that made me laugh out loud and others that made me think. The movie does not take too many liberties with story and even pulls dialogue directly from the books. It did take me a long time to read the book because I already knew the story. Still, it is well worth it.

Book and movie rating: 5 stars

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

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