Saturday, March 29, 2008

North and South

I finished my latest book club selection (North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell) on the drive home from California and we had the meeting Thursday night. It is really the first novel we've read (I missed the meeting for To Kill A Mockingbird) and I definitely thought it was the most interesting discussion we've had so far! I must admit I was a little wary of the book when I first started reading it. It was written in the 1850's I believe, so the writing style took some getting used to and it was slow going for a little while. I honestly don't think I would have continued reading if not for the book club - I need something to grab my attention pretty quickly - but by the end I really loved it. There are interesting comparisons made between male and female roles, the different social classes, and the northern and southern parts of England at the time. Elizabeth Gaskell does an excellent job developing the characters into people you really feel you know and I definitely became invested in what would end up happening to Margret, the main character. Although all the relationships in the book are interesting and explored in great depth, I am a romantic at heart and was glued to the last 100 pages or so of the book just waiting to find out if Margret was finally going to find love (and by the way you don't find out until the last 3, that's right THREE, pages....the book is over 400!) - I was really worried I would never know :-)! I highly recommend the book - just keep trucking through those first chapters - it is definitely worth it in the end!

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