delicious and slow; a perfect drowsy rainy-day book. (and lo, today it doth rain, and cast grey drops upon the window-screens.)
The creeping characterdelicious and slow; a perfect drowsy rainy-day book. (and lo, today it doth rain, and cast grey drops upon the window-screens.)
The creeping character advancement is the best part -- Margaret changing from a somewhat abrupt girl, Thornton developing alongside her, each in their own private grief and losses. (Speaking of which: poor Margaret! The people around her drop like flies. Someone should get her tested.)
Thornton was the only person fully drawn, I think; there's a bit too much Victorian Angel Of The Home clinging to Margaret, with the constant deaths and the whole handmaiden-to-the-poor bit; she never quite took breath for me. -- Except as she displaced her own needs again and again for other people, and finally found a place to express herself in quietness. There were so many tiny, tender views of her, but the most effective were always from an outsider: Thornton distracted by her bracelets as they fell down her arms; in deep mourning, palely upright on a sofa after someone died; her hands clasped in Frederick's hands as they waited at the train station. There's a power in these views, and Gaskell is very, very good at this sort of detail (at her best she is entirely modern and direct, like Katherine Mansfield) -- but she falls into didacticism, telling without showing; she doesn't seem to trust her own voice, or her own awareness & expression of it.
Still there are a million little things. Mrs Thornton and her different relationship to her children! Mrs Hale and her relationships! (When she tells a desolate Margaret something like "my first baby was prettier than you, and I prefer him even now" -- and later, Margaret's despair that she's lost her mother just when they were getting to understand and love each other ... I mean. Shit.
I never stopped wanting to punch Mr. Hale, though.
The romance is too brief and, yes, too delicate, to be stretched thin over such a framework (and WHAT IS WITH THAT ENDING WHAT). It's a damned shame. Loosen the reins, Gaskell. (I must read more of this.)...more
rather dry (pun); more scholarly reference than layperson's book. on occasion, intensely gruesome. i found it difficult to follow the individual storirather dry (pun); more scholarly reference than layperson's book. on occasion, intensely gruesome. i found it difficult to follow the individual stories -- maybe it was me? But Druett is wonderful, truly interested in her topic.
my sympathies, as usual, lie somewhat askew: I agree with the Captain who insisted that the surgeon replace the ill hands at their duties: "if the doctor wanted to avoid such labor, then all that was necessary was for him to make sure that none of the crew got sick." it's LOGIC okay....more
three stars, yes, but i liked it, and i failed to come across any particular reason why to like it, while the reasons to dislike are quick & evidethree stars, yes, but i liked it, and i failed to come across any particular reason why to like it, while the reasons to dislike are quick & evident: a sometimes-clumsy and often over-ambitious plot, sometimes-clumsy characterization, the too-tidy wrap-up at the end.
i did enjoy it, though. the main characters are each a bit difficult and silly, they make mistakes with each other (and themselves, and other people) and mostly they work through it. the slow growth of social consciousness in one, the slow "awakening" of pleasure in the other: it's nice. it's effective. the bones are there. the problems here seem to be first-novel problems, not author problems, in other words, and i'm willing to forgive a lot in a first novel.
+one for the slow-paced romance and general cuteness (but the author tried to pack a lot in a tight space (snerk) and it didn't always work, so there's that)
-one for rape, because surprise!sex = rape (now, the subplot is about protecting women from rape, and consent is a big thing within the story (except that one time okay) so i'm giving the author some slack here & assuming she somehow just doesn't know that you need consent for sex yes every single time)...more
I made it to the point where Cordingly wrote "The fact that almost all pirates were professional seafarers explains a great deal about them" (p10) andI made it to the point where Cordingly wrote "The fact that almost all pirates were professional seafarers explains a great deal about them" (p10) and then I lost my shit. PIRATES WERE SAILORS?! shiver me timbers. I'm fucking shocked.
0 stars would not read again could not finish do not recommend....more
Very, very satisfying; I do love a good disaster nonfiction! And this is such a bizarre story! Five men are shipwrecked on a forbidding, frozen lump oVery, very satisfying; I do love a good disaster nonfiction! And this is such a bizarre story! Five men are shipwrecked on a forbidding, frozen lump of land (the ship being outfitted with shoddy equipment by landlubbing jerks); they surv-thrive through the sort of gumption that one associates with redheaded orphans.
Four months later there comes another shipwreck to the island -- although the terrain is frustrating enough, and the habitations separated enough that the groups never meet (!) even when a ship comes (!!) and takes away one party but not the other (!!!).
A certain amount of fictionalization necessarily creeps into non-fiction and it usually aggravates me -- but in this case the main sailors kept (threadbare) journals and wrote memoirs, so. It helps. I appreciate the author's afterword, too; she explains which castaway's journal she chose to follow in which instance, how she determined likely veracity (sometimes by using sea lion breeding schedules), all that.
It's good to admit to uncertainty.
Especially because THESE PEOPLE MADE SOAP AND CONCRETE AND BUILT A BELLOWS AND SHIT. I mean. Who would believe that? except ... they left the tannery and forge and everything on the island, so clearly they actually did it. Ridiculous, and humbling. I can't keep my laundry on-track.
Gentlefolk of the jury, I invite you to partake of the evidence towards bias in the incident of A. Ham v A. Burr, and the inflammatory writings of oneGentlefolk of the jury, I invite you to partake of the evidence towards bias in the incident of A. Ham v A. Burr, and the inflammatory writings of one John Sedgewick, who weighs on the case. I submit for your interest this evidence the first, and I shall make presumption to consider this sufficient evidence to draw upon a conclusion --
"For 'corruption' he had no equal. And if anyone was threatening the Constitution -- Hamilton's Constitution, one might add -- it was Burr himself, by virtue of the conspiracy he had already began and would return to shortly ... his moral imagination [turned] black into white, and back again, as needed, so that Aaron Burr need never be in the wrong, whatever he did." (p361.)