I've read this book several times and read it, yet again, for a book club. This time, I stumbled across Dr. Corey Olson's lectures over at the Mythgar...moreI've read this book several times and read it, yet again, for a book club. This time, I stumbled across Dr. Corey Olson's lectures over at the Mythgard Institute and listened to the lectures while reading the book. What a delight these lectures are. It was a fresh breath of enthusiasm and a deeper understanding of well-read book. I loved hearing about the Anglo-Saxon influence on Tolkien and Tolkien's own thoughts of fairyland. It gave me a new love for Middle-Earth.(less)
I've read this book a handful of times through my 30+ life span and each time, I've loathed it. This time, however, I did not. I had the greatest good...moreI've read this book a handful of times through my 30+ life span and each time, I've loathed it. This time, however, I did not. I had the greatest good luck to visit Haworth this summer and I fell completely in the love with the moors. The air is so clean and washes through the wind...the heather was in sweet bloom. It reminded me greatly of the few pieces of prairie we have in Illinois. Both landscapes have a clean smell and plenty of wind wiping along and freedom. So with Haworth and its moors in my mind's eye and a much greater understanding of people and psychology that I've gleaned through the years, I chugged through the book. The atmosphere is wonderful. The people? Completely bonkers with Cathy leading the troupe. Charming and ruthless, she's incredibly reminiscent of an old high school friend who whined "Why can't my two boyfriends get along?" Let's think about the fact that there's two! but unlike my friend, Cathy chose to kill herself over their refusal to "just get along." It's a great novel and when Emily Bronte said, "No coward soul is mine", this book and the violence and madness it stumbles along is living testament to the fact that she was indeed, no coward. (less)
Some writing hits a vein. Certainly this one does for me. It's set in England post WWII and takes up the study of a marriage failure. The wife, Imogen...moreSome writing hits a vein. Certainly this one does for me. It's set in England post WWII and takes up the study of a marriage failure. The wife, Imogen, is the lens we view the breakup through and it is a brilliant breakup. There's not much drama but always a sense of the foreboding. Every scene, every character ties into the whole- Imogen's failure with her nasty husband. It's hard to describe the perfection of this novel but it's just so glowing, shimmering and cold. The prose is terrific as is the dialogue.
This is a great read for the reader's who love psychology and tight prose that works towards the theme at every turn.(less)
After reading this book, I have a clearer understanding of the stock market and how it turned people's everyday lives upside down. Switching from land...moreAfter reading this book, I have a clearer understanding of the stock market and how it turned people's everyday lives upside down. Switching from land and money with actual value to paper money terrified many- and still does to this day. I also feel incredibly lucky that we live in an era of sanitation, vaccination, dental work, asphalt and meaningful work for women. Liss is entirely comfortable in the 1720's world he's created for his character and he does a good job of making that far away world understandable and interesting to the reader.(less)
I read this book as a teenager and swore to myself I'd never read it again. But due to a research project, I found myself picking it up. I found this...moreI read this book as a teenager and swore to myself I'd never read it again. But due to a research project, I found myself picking it up. I found this edition with its footnotes to be a great boon in rereading it. And also...coming back to it older, wiser and having read sooo much more helped incredibly. It was really a different book. Yes, there were so many times I wanted to smack Stowe down for her narrator's racist comments and yes, most of the time the characters were puppets on strings but I will say, the book Got to me at times. It really did. One story in particular (Prue's story), shook me up for a few days. I'll forever be haunted by that story. I almost feel that without "Beloved", I might have never come back to this story with new eyes. "Beloved" will change your life if you read it (which I did, over and over, till I finally got it- as much as I'm able to) and I'd highly recommend reading that book before diving into this one. This was a difficult book to read- the characters were offensively drawn (Uncle Tom being one) but Stowe has the gift of driving a story along and keeping the reader's attention. She has great chase scenes. She can, at times, hit an emotional resonance that is hard to shake off and in the end, she definitely did what she sent out to do. She got her readers (and I think she was aiming for middle class Christian women) thinking and agitated, so hats off to her.
Also...the editors' commentary in this version is invaluable. I can't speak highly enough of their work. (less)