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The Ladies of Missalonghi

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  2,497 ratings  ·  261 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)
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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

What a thoroughly enjoyable read this was..
Set in The Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia, in the time just before the outbreak of the Great War, the story revolves around a small town community made up almost entirely of various branches of the same family line...the Hurlingfords.
A bit of scandal, a bit of snobbery, a few old maids and spinsters, and a bit of romance, make this an easy and entertaining read.

Set in The Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia, in the time just before the outbreak of the Great War, the story revolves around a small town community, Missalonghi, made up almost entirely of various branches of the same family line - the Hurlingfords. Missy Wright's mother, Drusilla, has been shunned by her family since she married for love, not money. Now widowed, she lives an impoverished life with her sister and daughter Missy. Plain, thin and doomed to wear brown, it seems Missy's li ...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
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Ladies of Missalonghi, Colleen McCullough
عنوان: بانوان عمارت میسالونگی؛ نویسنده: کالین مک کالو؛ مترجم: طاهره صدیقیان؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، صذوق، 1372، در 223 ص
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!
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
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
Nov 19, 2014 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes historical fiction
Recommended to Mary by: My friend Noeleen
Several years into the twentieth century, in the tiny town of Byron nestled somewhere in the Australian Blue Mountains, a shy spinster, her widowed mother and her crippled aunt live in genteel poverty. For thirty-three-year-old Missy Wright, her mother Drusilla and aunt Octavia, life is difficult living as the poor relations of the Hurlingford family - the most prominent family in Byron. Despite the Wrights being allowed to live at Missalonghi - Drusilla's home through marriage - the women are a ...more
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
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
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
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
I'm usually willing to forgive an author for a predictable story; it makes me feel smart that I have guessed the right answer before the story gets to the question. However, when an author picks and utterly absurd conclusion as a cop out to resolve to the story, I get annoyed. It feels like a betryal -- like the reading has suddenly become a waste of time. Not cool. Still, I'm a sucker for "unexpected" romance (which consquently is never unexpected and always predictable), so that's why I'm stil ...more
Who was John Smith? What was the mystery surrounding his past? Why did he elect to live alone in the bush and listen to the silence? These were the questions the outraged members of the Hurlingford clan asked when John Smith came to town and stole the valley out from under their self-important noses. He would have to go! said the third Sir William. What was all the fuss about? asked Alicia the clan belle, too busy planning her wedding to appreciate the ominous rumblings of change that seem
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.
I read this 20-some years ago, and now after reading The Blue Castle I had to read this again to compare.

If I judge this book completely on its own, I find it to be an odd little romp. Missy, a 33 year old spinster, meets a distant cousin who urges her to liven up her life a little, and suddenly Missy is emboldened to stand up to her relatives, wear a color other than brown, and chase after the new man in town. This is in a small town in Australia in the early 1900s, so it's all pretty racy stu
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.
I read this as a smart, self-aware redo of the classic lady-in-peril romance novel (the kind referred to in the story itself). Now I'm seeing in other readers' reviews that it was maybe plagiarized from L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle (which I haven't read yet). Bummer if true. This was delightful, even so -- even the paranormal twist at the end which I read as more sinister than most are assuming. McCullough had a great way with words, and knew how to transform a Nick Sparks-style weepie into ...more
In early 1900s Australia, a young spinster grapples with social injustice. Missy, plain and drab and living in rural poverty, nevertheless longs for at least one pretty dress in an outrageous color and a bit of romance to go with it. All of the women that she loves live in poverty while their not-so-distant male relatives live in splendor. In a fit of rebellion, Missy goes after everything she has longed for.

This brief satisfying 189-pg novel makes keen observations about female repression and s
Honestly I just skimmed through most of this. It was not good. At all.
Boring. Makes Australia seem boring. There's a feat.
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Colleen McCullough AO (born 1 June 1937) was an internationally acclaimed Australian author, born in Wellington in central west New South Wales to James and Laurie McCullough.

Colleen grew up during World War II. Before entering tertiary education, she previously earned a living as a teacher, librarian, and journalist. In her first year of medical studies at the University of Sydney she suffered de
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)

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“...she looked like the sort of woman most men would want to get to know because they weren't sure what went on inside.” 28 likes
“You just hang onto the thought that every dog has its day, even the bitches” 10 likes
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