Sunday 28 November 2010
Saturday 20 November 2010
And she had found her way into the library, and used to undo the heavy bars of the shutters if the housemaid had forgotten this duty, and mount the ladder sitting on the steps for an hour at a time, deep in some book of the old English classics. The summer days were very short to this happy girl of seventeen.
Nothing like having a reading plan and then immediately deviating from it. I initially wanted to read Elizabeth Gaskells's Wives and Daughters because she mentions Maria Edgeworth, but I've got completely absorbed in the story and can't put it down. I've also been inspired by Elaine's post on Vic Lit (love that phrase) Girlebooks review of Wives and Daughters and several of your comments recommending Gaskell.
Sunday 14 November 2010
The novel begins with the wealthy Mr Weissman telling his 75-year old wife he wants a divorce and she must leave their beautiful New York apartment. A gregarious cousin offers her a run-down cottage in Westport overlooking Long Island Sound. Betty's two middle-age daughters, Miranda and Annie, decide to move with her to escape their own troubled lives. The impetuous and romantic Miranda has seen her literary agency which specialises in 'misery memoirs' fail spectacularly and sensible Annie is suffering from empty nest syndrome now her sons have left home.
Of course, Annie represents Elinor Dashword, Miranda is Marianne, Betty Weissman is Mrs Dashwood and the sociable cousin Sir John Middleton. Marianne's accident in Sense and Sensiblity where she twists her ankle and is rescued by the handsome and unreliable Willoughby is transformed in this novel into a kayaking accident where Miranda is rescued from the sea by an equally handsome and unreliable younger man and an unlikely romance blossoms.
Of course, it's fun for Austen nerds like me to spot the similarities between this book and Sense and Sensibility and the novel certainly has its moments but I'd much rather read the original!
Friday 5 November 2010
All I learned I learned from Father. Think again Edith. You have made a false equation.