The Ladies of Missalonghi
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Ladies of Missalonghi

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  2,079 ratings  ·  221 reviews
Sometimes fairy tales can come true-even for plain,shy spinsters like Missy Wright. Neither as pretty as cousin Alicia, nor as domineering as mother Drusilla, she seems doomed to a quiet life of near poverty at Missalonghi, her family's pitifully small homestead in Australia's Blue Mountains. But It's a brand new century-the twentieth-a time for new thoughts and bold, new...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 26th 1996 by Arrow Books Ltd (first published January 1st 1987)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,973)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Monica,” you might be thinking, “another low-star review? Honestly? Do you hate everything??”

Friends, I want you all to know that I read this book solely because I love L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle with a passion that even I find slightly alarming, and I was informed by my fellow Goodreaders that The Ladies of Missalonghi was a ridiculously blatant plagiarism and should be purged from the face of the earth.

So yes. Another low-star review.


The Ladies of Missalonghi at least appeared to...more

This is The Blue Castle transposed to Australia, with less lovable characters and more obvious sex scenes.
Sooooo, as a 100% positive "The Blue Castle" rip-off (how could McCullough dare?), I still enjoyed "The Ladies of Missalonghi", but only as I might enjoy the much less attractive and significantly less appealing younger brother of my older, wildly attractive ideal man; the appeal lies in the faint similarities, but the sloppy seconds aren't nearly as satisfying as the real thing!

Really, not a bad short story all in all, but it doens't hold a candle to L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle.
Lulu Grace
This is NOT AT ALL my type of book. And most of you will know Colleen McCullough for her book, The Thorn Birds. This book, I think is unlike most of her books which are very long and very saga drama like. This is a very simple story. Old fashioned. And lovely. I think the main character actually "swoons" at some point in the book and I just found it to be completely endearing. It deserves all five stars.

The owner of the used bookstore I frequent and have for years actually recommended this book...more
M.A. McRae
Mar 04, 2012 M.A. McRae rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women
Colleen McCullough is one of the most original writers that I know. Her first novel (I'm pretty sure) was 'Tim.' I have not seen anything like Tim before or since. I doubt if this novel was plagiarised at all - only that it was very common in the 1920s for widows and spinsters to live together, and in poverty (spinsters were very common Post WW1 due to the shortage of men.) As an Australian writer, she may never have come across the Canadian book that is spoken of.

The plot? Missy finds her exist...more
Abeer Hoque
I wanted a romance but one well written, so what better guide than the writer of the Thorn Birds, a book that rends me even in the remembering, twenty years later? The Ladies of Missalonghi, with the occasional illustration (who does this anymore?!) is an afternoon's delight, like the fairy cakes its characters concoct and consume with relish. I admit towards the second half, it felt more low brow than high fiction, but the eponymous protagonist is just dowdy enough to lull, bright enough to cha...more
Jun 27, 2012 Megan rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely no one, unless starting a fire.
Shelves: horrible
I decided to read this based on reading somewhere that it was similar to 'The Blue Castle'. Apparently, 'similar' means, 'this-author-stole-the-idea-and-made-it-trashy-and-paranormal'. What really galls me is that the horrible plot twists were completely unnecessary. The first 3/4 of the book only had a couple of crude remarks made by side characters, then BAM! Suddenly, the main character decides she should behave like a heroine in the trash novels she's been reading and oh, BTW (now that you h...more
Danielle Reily
This is a one of those books that just makes me happy. It takes less than an afternoon to read, and I know it almost by heart, but I love it!
Duplicate plot to LM Montgomery's "The Blue Castle," but I still love the book.
This book was recommended to me by my grandmother who I adore, so of course I had to read it. I will say that I did enjoy the story, but it left me perplexed at some of the author's choices in plot. First of all, I thought the transition in personality the main character, Missy, had was too sudden and radical. I would have liked to read that as more complex. Secondly, the whole paranormal aspect, while intriguing, was poorly incorporated. It was an easy, short read, and not something, unlike oth...more
I enjoyed this, and didn't know about it's probable plagiarism from Montgomery's The Blue Castle until after reading it and trying to find out more. Now I really need to read The Blue Castle...

Nice little fairy story, where the heroine breaks out of a wretched life and gets the guy, while the "bad guys" get their own back. I enjoyed the setting in the Blue Mountains of Australia.

However, I do feel like the ending was a little rushed--once things started getting interesting, the book was almost o...more
This is a sweet little shortcake of a read for the bathtub or the beach chair. So why do I give it a four? Because for me, it's iconic in its niche. When I want a short happy read, this is one of the first books I look for.

Update....when I wrote the review above, I'd never heard of The Blue Castle. Now I have, and it's a great little book. It was written first, and some of the scarily identical small details (like the pic of Queen Alexandra on the wall) convince me that C Mc MUST have read this...more
Even though protagonist Missy Wright is 33, this is essentially a coming-of-age story. Long dominated by her poor circumstances and the perceptions of her dark looks in a town where everyone and everything is the same, Missy flourishes when change comes rolling in.

The novel is almost Twain-esque, thanks to author Colleen McCollough's characterizations of the town of Byron (named after Lord Byron, of course) and the Hurlingford clan (of which Missy is a member of on her mother's side) and the way...more
Amy Jo Cousins
I just reread this, and was reminded of why it is one of my favorite short novels of all time. An extremely short book, this is the story of a young woman living in a small Australian town who fakes a life-threatening illness to get what she wants, just this once: out of her mother and aunt's house and into the house (and arms) of the strange but appealing new man who's just moved into town. There are bitchy and superior family members who flaunt their wealth, a mysteriously bold girlfriend, a p...more
This is a very quick, easy read. Missy is a 33 year "old maid" who lives with her poverty stricken mother and aunt in the Australian town, Byron, which is almost entirely inhabited by their relatives. The men in the family, all wealthy and powerful, totally dominate all businesses and control the finances. Thus, the widows and spinsters are living a nearly hand to mouth existence. Missy, however, decides to take her fate and that of her mother and aunt inito her own hands. What she does complete...more
Sue Breton
Another book I read over twenty years ago that stays with me. It was short and evocative and I just love a story where the unfairly downtrodden wins through in the end.
Linda Gibson
I loved this book. It was so mysterious and I found myself becoming deeper and deeper involved in the story and the Ladies of Missalonghi. Very interesting. Hope you like it as much as I did and still do.
This is a good book, but having read 'The Blue Castle' prior to reading this, it was just too familiar, much too familiar.
Boring. Makes Australia seem boring. There's a feat.
En una época indefinida (se presume que después de las dos grandes guerras) se teje la tediosa y monótona vida de Missy Wright, junto con su tía Octavia y su madre Drusilla, en la ruinosa casa de Missalongui, a las afueras de Byron, Australia. Allí los habitantes son todos Hurlingford: los comercios están regentados por Hulingfords, las tierras son poseídas por Hurlingfords, los negocios son acordados entre Hurlingfords, los títulos los llevan los Hurlingfords, los parientes carnales son Hurling...more
Jane Stewart
2 ½ stars. A rush job. Plot and characters not developed enough.

I don’t mind authors telling similar stories if each is entertaining in its own way. But this book troubled me. It had too many parts directly copied from LM Montgomery’s book The Blue Castle (TBC). TBC was published in 1926. This book was published in 1987. I gave TBC 4 ½ stars.

Missy is 33, wimpy, mousy, downtrodden, a spinster, and lives with her mother. In TBC a doctor sends her a letter by mistake saying she will d...more
I've read many reviews here about the possibility of... um.. "plot borrowing" from The Blue Castle, but honestly, this isn't why I'm rating this book low and really couldn't care less since so many books are written based on ideas from something else. This low rating is for the simple fact that I didn't like what I was reading most of the time. I'm sorry for this since Colleen McCullough is one of my favourite authors and I just expected better.

The premise that happiness for a woman is marriage...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Um livro simples, com uma escrita levezinha que nos envolve logo nas primeiras páginas devido à magia que emanam as descrições das Senhoras de Missalonghi.
Três mulheres que vivem sózinhas, dedicadas à casa e às costuras, que apenas vivem o dia a dia de forma calma. Missy a mais nova das três, lê às escondidas belos romances que a ajudam a sonhar numa vida diferente da que leva. Com a ajuda de Una, Missy consegue os seus romances na biblioteca e também tomar uma serie de decisões que afectam toda...more
I can't believe McCullough thought she'd get away with this degree of plagiarism. Identical phrasing throughout, simply the height of copycat plunder. It made The Blue Castle that much better for me (a book I only heard about this year) and soured me on Ladies forever.
This is a light and breezy read from the author of The Thorn Birds, which I really loved. Missy is a 33 year old spinster who lives in "genteel poverty" with her mother and aunt on the outskirts of a small town in Australia, sometime before WWI. She is modest, unassuming and somewhat dowdy, hooked on silly romance novels which she is not supposed to be reading (by order of her mother), but the new librarian helps her out and Missy sneaks the books home. Through the novel, circumstances change an...more
I have read other books by Colleen McCullough, however this book was not the same caliber as the others. This book was just a romance and the only thing that showed it was by the same author is the setting, Australia.
I didn’t care for this and I’m curious as to why it’s one of my friend’s favorite books. Missy lives in a small insular Australian town, which is run by her male relatives, leaving many of the women in abject poverty. Missy believes the reports that she is plain, but she has never seen herself in a mirror. A stranger moves to town, she falls in love with him, because he's a stranger and she's seen so few strangers?and because of him, everything changes. And what’s with Una? Read for Messy House...more
The Ladies of Missalonghi is a primarily feminist rewrite of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Blue Castle. McCullough took the basic plot (take Una's book suggestions as proof) and characters, then stripped away all the charm and freshness that made Blue Castle so successful. I didn't appreciate how she made all the men 'bad' of Byron and most of the women 'good'; at least, Montgomery realized that men and women have an equal capacity for meanness and small-time cruelty. The Ladies of Missalonghi would ha...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Time's Edge (Time's Edge, #1)
  • Elske (Kingdom, #4)
  • The Wizard, the Witch, and Two Girls from Jersey
  • Zemindar
  • Csardas
  • The Rains Came
  • Roxanna Slade
  • Matthew Flinders' Cat
  • For You Alone (Frederick Wentworth, Captain, #2)
  • War Brides
  • All The Rivers Run
  • Missus
  • Difesa a zona
  • Masada
  • The New Countess (Love & Inheritance Trilogy, #3)
  • Blackmailed by Diamonds, Bound by Marriage (A Mediterranean Marriage) (Harlequin Presents #2598)
  • Trade Wind
  • Bloody Awful (Brytewood, #2)
Colleen McCullough AO (born 1 June 1937) is an internationally acclaimed Australian author. Colleen was born in Wellington in central west New South Wales to James and Laurie McCullough.

She grew up during World War II. In her first year of medical studies at the University of Sydney she suffered dermatitis from surgical soap and was told to abandon her dreams of becoming a medical doctor. Instead,...more
More about Colleen McCullough...
The Thorn Birds The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1) The Grass Crown (Masters of Rome, #2) Fortune's Favorites (Masters of Rome, #3) Caesar (Masters of Rome, #5)

Share This Book

“...she looked like the sort of woman most men would want to get to know because they weren't sure what went on inside.” 24 likes
“You just hang onto the thought that every dog has its day, even the bitches” 8 likes
More quotes…