It's cold and in the middle of the night but a group of young, poor women are working on dresses that wealthy women are to wear at the upcoming dance.It's cold and in the middle of the night but a group of young, poor women are working on dresses that wealthy women are to wear at the upcoming dance. Ruth, who recently lost her parents had been placed in this work by her guardian, a man she didn't know and had only met once. Despite her great reasons for grief, Ruth is beautiful and innocent inside and out and she revels, like all young girls do, at the beauty of the world. She is chosen along with a few more to wait upon the ladies at the dance, to repair any tear or seam that might be torn in the joyful galloping about on the dance floor. As faith has it, she is mending just such a dress when she meets a man so fascinating that without being aware of it, they both fall in love. Ruth runs away and the young lovers live happily in sin, Ruth being convinced that such a love that she feels can not be wrong or against God. But the young gentleman's family find him, takes him back home, and leaves Ruth alone and distraught, not aware that she is carrying his child.
This story was heartbreaking. I cried once and was angry at several occasions. Reading it with the eyes of today you are horrified at the way women were property and that the only currency a woman could hold was her virtue. It's a story about courage and right and wrong, a story about friendship. It tells of redemption but not in the way one might first assume.
It was a pleasant surprise to stumble upon this book, and I would recommend it not only for the story but for the proof that the world might someday also be better in those places where women are still treated so unequally, if we only teach each other to be the best we can....more
After over two weeks of finishing this book I find that i am still thinking about it so I feel forced to increase my initial three stars to four.
EmmaAfter over two weeks of finishing this book I find that i am still thinking about it so I feel forced to increase my initial three stars to four.
Emma marries a dull doctor and her romanticised view of what life should be gets the better of her. She confuses the materialistic aspirations for true happiness and she craves drama. She dreams of a better life with a better man, a man to be proud of, someone that can fill her life with the wealth she deserves.
In my opinion Emma is a very annoying person to follow for an entire book but I was surprised at how much the sadness of leaving the book behind marked me. This book didn't really teach me anything. It didn't contain much in the matter of news, neither in characters or plot. It held no revelations about humanity in general or my own life in particular. But it touched my consciousness and I even think I'll reread it at some point, perhaps in English to see what impression it will leave me then....more
This was interesting for me to read. I've heard the rough story outline of the famous ballet and here it was written down. There's brave fighting, ChrThis was interesting for me to read. I've heard the rough story outline of the famous ballet and here it was written down. There's brave fighting, Christmas, tasty sweets, seven headed mice, a fantastical voyage, and curses to be broken.
I'm sad to see that the gender roles are so stereotypical in what could otherwise have been a wonderful adventure. Women cook what the men ask for and the men rule the kingdoms. When people get ugly, only the men get love. For the girl in the same situation, her life is practically over and blood will run unless her exterior is set right again. There was also the question of what age Marie really is at the end of the book, but I've been trying to edit that in my head to feel more comfortable about the happily ever after.
To conclude, I'm happy I read it as an adult and not as a little girl....more
Poor Lucilla Finch is a blind, young lady with a sensitive heart. We hear the story told by the lady's companion and piano teacher, the widowed Mme. PPoor Lucilla Finch is a blind, young lady with a sensitive heart. We hear the story told by the lady's companion and piano teacher, the widowed Mme. Pratolungo, who retrospectively tells us the story of when she met Lucilla and what happened up until the writing day.
This story has so many great-to-read points. A blind protagonist and her sometimes odd and sometimes infuriating way of looking at things, twin brothers so alike and yet so different, medicinal oddities that makes you google strange side-effects, great secrets that makes you so mad from time to time that it might make you scold fictional characters out loud. It was a great surprise to me, not only in the subject but also in the unusual fact that Collins almost told it completely in the voice of one character, unlike his normal handful, without losing the depth of character or range of personalities. The only downside was a detail at the end, an opinion that was expressed and not at all what my mind and heart wanted for the story. But that was all.
If you are a Wilkie fan, I recommend it. If you're not a Wilkie fan, you should be. It's not a Woman in White, but can you honestly tell me what other book is?...more
Catherine is about to leave home for the first time. She is off to Bath with her good friends, the Allens. Catherine is a bit of a tomboy that only reCatherine is about to leave home for the first time. She is off to Bath with her good friends, the Allens. Catherine is a bit of a tomboy that only recently stopped scampering in the wilderness and scraping her knees. She is fond of novels, gothic, and especially Ann Radcliffe's Mysteries of Udolpho. Life in Bath is strange and new, and despite a difficult start she soon makes friends and discovers much about life, and love, and most importantly herself.
This was one of the most pleasant books by Austen I have read. It's not the best but certainly pleasant. As far as I understand it the book was bought but never published, then bought back by Austen's brother, edited by the author and then posthumously published (I might be wrong, don't quote me on it.) I wish she had tweaked it a little bit more, the end feels rushed and there's one scene in particular when we follow the wrong character around and I felt like pulling my hair in frustration. But it is well worth it, especially if you enjoy Austen. I wish I had read Ann Radcliffe's Mysteries of Udolpho prior to this, but I don't find it essential to the enjoyment of the story, but I'll get back on that once I've read it.
Don't let the stars and the speed I finished it fool you, it was a difficult read. I've never been able to digest poetry easy, with a few exceptions IDon't let the stars and the speed I finished it fool you, it was a difficult read. I've never been able to digest poetry easy, with a few exceptions I try to avoid it completely. There is nothing wrong with it, it's just not my cup of oolong. This story is jam-packed of action and muscles. The testosteron oozes and the ladies bask in the incandescent light of the hero. Dragons! All this told in a rhythm that eased the reading as much as it was possible and it was told in many allitterations, abundant and agreeably attaching.
As a fan of Tolkien, this was a must and it was so clear how much this influenced the professor. I would like to read his translation of it, next time around, because there will surely be one....more
We follow Marguerite, a beautiful and admired lady, french by birth and actress by former occupation, married to a wealthy but stupid English fop, SirWe follow Marguerite, a beautiful and admired lady, french by birth and actress by former occupation, married to a wealthy but stupid English fop, Sir Percy Blakeney. She is unhappy in the marriage, thinking her husband despises her for a terrible mistake she made before the marriage and now believes that the only person that loves her is her brother. In France the revolution has started and the aristocracy is being slaughtered by the hundreds, nay the thousands. One name is murmured throughout France and England - The Scarlet Pimpernel. Those in danger in the reign of terror, hope for the aid of this hero and saviour of the innocent. Marguerite is in the South of England after taking farewell of her brother that went back to France to serve his country and she fears that she may never see him again. An old acquaintance, the envoi of France, Citizen Chauvelin, suddenly appears and blackmails Marguerite to assist him. If she doesn't help him find out the true identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, her brother will pay for it with his life.
I found this a wonderfully exciting read and despite having figured out major parts of the mystery before reading the answers I enjoyed it very much. It was slightly predictable. It was a little annoying to read that Marguerite was supposed to be the cleverest woman in Europe when she seemed rather silly. It was uncomfortable to read the antisemitic observations concerning a certain jew. But if you managed to skim over those, to the story, minor details and the slight chance happenings, it was good and I am almost disappointed in the fact that I had not read this book earlier....more
Another one-hour read by Eliot but this story is so unlike anything else I've read by her that I wouldn't have guessed she wrote it. This is a dark, goAnother one-hour read by Eliot but this story is so unlike anything else I've read by her that I wouldn't have guessed she wrote it. This is a dark, gothic, psychological, first person narrative with supernatural elements. Despite the fact that I like Eliot, and I like supernatural, gothic and all that I listed above, it just doesn't work. The writing is beautiful but the story lacks meaning and point to me. I'm not one to stop you if you want to give it a go....more
This short story is a lesson in morality, a cautionary tale that tells you that can't hide from your past, and if you try it will probably catch up toThis short story is a lesson in morality, a cautionary tale that tells you that can't hide from your past, and if you try it will probably catch up to you in the end. It's not exceptional or anything of that sort. I think I wouldn't recommend it unless you're looking for something that can be read in an hour. There was however one section where Eliot captures human behaviour in a perfect way, where the contradictory nature of society gets torn between self-serving comfort and gossip. I wish Eliot could have had the chance to flesh this out and finish it completely but it is what it is and solely because of her sharp eye for baseness, I have afforded it three stars....more