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The Burden

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  935 ratings  ·  38 reviews
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Published (first published 1956)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,229)
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Disha Acharya
Since I was introduced to the wonderful world of Mary Westmacott by my Best Friend, I have always enjoyed reading her books, which of course made me, determined and want to read all six of her works. What is extremely delightful is the fact that a writer who wrote such intelligent and thrilling crime novels could also write such lovely books on human relationships. Everyone usually talks about how amazing a writer Agatha Christie was and that she is even today considered the Queen of Crime Ficti ...more
Sinduja Ragunathan
The burden turned out to be significant in ways more than one. For one, after a long time, longer than I can remember, I finished a story of 200 pages in just two days. With all due respect to my reading speed, it would suffice to say that few stories have gripped my imagination and held my interest the way this one did. Secondly, it was on a theme that means something to me: the bond between sisters. Without getting into a personal rant, I would have to say that it was a refreshing theme to rea ...more
Bruce
This is my favorite Westmacott novel so far. The craftsmanship of the writing and plot are not as polished as Absent in Spring, which I deem her best, but it possesses certain elements which bring it close to my heart. The story dramatizes the nature of romantic love, and also offers insight about teaching as a vocation. It has some elements of a third-rate romance novel and the plotting is rather clunky, but Westmacott's (i.e., Agatha Christie's) very genuine human sympathy and insight shine th ...more
Hajrah Majeed
the first Agatha Christie book i've read and i'm impressed. i love the way she's depicted human emotions in such a beautiful way. really thought-provoking as well. characters are really lovable and i loved how she made them so raw, so real. yes, she got a bit carried away with Llewellyn's side but i was really happy that he found Laura (even though the ending was fairy-tale like, it was a nice change from reading books with sad endings)

overall, beautiful, real, smart and tragic. a must read.
***Carol***
This has been sitting half finished on my e reader for a while, so I'm accepting that I may just not finish this (bizarrely, since I've had the e reader I've been finishing all sorts of dreck that I would have tossed aside if they had been in paperback form)
This book starts of as bleak & sinister, then turns into dull & mundane. Just couldn't work up the interest to keep reading & see if it goes back into sinister.
Kirsti
Oct 27, 2008 Kirsti rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christie completists
Shelves: fiction
Agatha Christie wrote a bunch of non-mysteries under the name Mary Westmacott.
This one is pretty good! I read Christie novels for the puzzle aspect, not for the characterization, so I wasn't sure I would like this. But it's atmospheric and somewhat romantic. I cared about what happened to the characters, though the structure of the story meant that some characters weren't mentioned for 40 or 50 pages at a stretch.

The cover of the new edition is very attractive. The cover of the book I have is qu
...more
Esther Cabral
This a one of those easy reads, but has enough food for thought—"...she comprehended the burden of love." The entire story of the Franklin girls just makes sense with this one sentence at the end.

Though I felt the Llewellyn Knox's chapter was rather long and unnecessarily stretched. It does build the premise for the next chapter, we could've done away with the lengthy prose.
Linda K
I have owned this paperback forever, (it sold for 45 cents!!)but just never read it although I am a HUGE Christie fan.

The story begins simply with Laura being quite jealous of new baby sister, Shirley. After a near tragedy, Laura becomes smitten with Shirley and devotes her life to her care, nearly smothering her with love. Shirley marries Henry and the plot becomes more involved.

Other characters in the story are Baldy, their neighbor who is infuential in both the girls lives, and two other men,
...more
Nina
It's a great lesson in letting people make their own choices - maybe they're not the choices we'd make for them, but they're THEIR choices. I read this many many years ago, and I'm thinking it might be time for a re-read.
Kathy
Again, an excellently written story, with well-defined characters and all that Agatha Christie did so well, but the overwhelming negative feelings I was left with ~ and had to slog through ~ just didn't work for me... at all.

* * * * * *

Yeah, and the star? That's my feelings about the book and nothing about how well-written it was. I know a lot of people who would absolutely LOVE any of Mary Westmacott stories... I'm just not one of them.
Leslie
Love is a burden. How depressing.

The best of the Westmacott novels, but still not as good as Christie's mysteries. Question though... why does everyone in her stories fall in love and marry people within a week of meeting them? Reality of the times or ridiculous plot device? I'm not sure. I'm also not sure if that's worse than her stories where cousins marry each other.
France-Andrée
This is the story of Laura and Shirley and how one sister can completely dictate the destiny of the other. Very good character development, there's nothing jaw dropping about the story, it felt plausible and it could really have happened to someone. I like the slow pace of the story; that's the thing about this book, it's not over dramatic, but it's very affecting.
Natalia
They say Agatha Christie believed that "The Burden" was her best book. I'm afraid I don't symphatise with her on this matter. I love Christie's crime novels and compared to them "The Burden" is a mediocre book. The first half of the book was quite good (3 stars), but then there was only a dissapointment.
Tripta
It's fascinating to read the "other" voice of Christie, as it were. I am a huge fan of her writing, and I enjoyed this book, though by way of plot this isn't the strongest or the best. I wonder how much of it is autobiographical (based on her first marriage to be particular)...
Cathy Houston
Almost a mystery story but not quite
Irissska
It was a surprise, in the finest sense of the word, that Agatha C. wrote a novel so different from her crime stories. It was really interesting to read this book, and I liked that A.C managed to show how smb's love can be a real burden for the one who is being loved.
Louise Armstrong
I enjoyed this - deeper than her detective novels. It is a bit old-fashioned, but interesting ideas.

When I flipped through the pages looking for an interesting quote or writing technique, the writing didn't look that good, yet I enjoyed the book!



MissFidget
Agatha Christie does a great Bronte impression in this likable fluffy book. Heroines drink lavender water or cologne to excess or work at a school for "simple minded children." A bit moralistic for a romance story but loads of fun.
Neha
I shall not - and cannot - count the sheer number of invaluable life-lessons this book has taught me. Not a recommendation I'd suggest en masse, The Burden is definitely, though, one for those of us still discovering ourselves.
Ed
Non-mystery. The story of two sisters and their relationship from 1929 to 1956. Some very good writing in it, but as a whole, not as solid a previous works. This one brushes up against melodrama a little too often.
Marjoriesabandoyahoo.com
It is really a burden reading this book. I thought i can't finish. I was only curious how the ending would turn out that i patiently waited for it to happen. It was so borrrring...ending is not satisfying either.
Karlyne Landrum
Great read as usual from Agatha...oops, I mean Mary..., but I think I've read one too many intense, thinking books lately. I think I'll go find a nice murder mystery to relax with. ...more
Ana Silva Rosa
Prose style: 5
Plot: 5
Depth of characters: 4
Originality: 3
Entertaining: 4
Emotional Reaction: 4
Intellectual Stimulation: 3

truly wonderful but ugh... I was expecting a better ending :(
Darcy
An interesting presentation of how a very protective love can be smothering to the loved one and keep him/her from developing into all they could be. Not much else of note.
Hemali Tanna
Even though I respect Agatha Christie's writing a lot in this novel, I did not enjoy it... It is just not the kind of romance that appeals to me.
Dana
As you would expect from Agatha Christie the book was well written, but the story was a downer and the plot rather thin.
Matheus Cavalcante
O fardo é o amor: amor não recebido, amor dedicado à contragosto, amor divino, amor não merecido, amor reencontrado.
Susy!
I love Agatha Christie but this book just took a weird leap into lalaland...you can tell its one of her firsts!
Ananya Kaushik
the ending was brimming with metaphorical significance
and that's the only part I really really liked
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