Ruth Hill's Reviews > Mrs Miniver

Mrs Miniver by Jan Struther
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Sep 28, 10

bookshelves: historical
Read from September 19 to 27, 2010

I remembered seeing this film several years ago, but I couldn't even remember who the star was--I thought it was Bette Davis (It was really Greer Garson). I remembered it being an epic film, but that's all I remembered.

When I picked up this book, I wasn't sure what to expect. It was a shorter book than I had been reading--which was really nice! And the chapters were short. I also liked the setting--England before WWII and during it.

I have to say that I was not exactly enraptured by the story nor the writing style. I discovered later that this book was originally a set of vignettes that appeared in the paper. It suddenly made sense why the chapters seemed disjointed and short. As the reader, I often felt that I was getting just brief glimpses into this family's life, and I did not even understand it sometimes. Until later.

I also discovered the purpose for this book and why it is such endearing classic. It is a picture of a life that used to exist before the War. The main character, Mrs. Miniver, tries to cling to that old life where everyone lived a life of comfort and enjoyed the simple things of life. Mrs. Miniver is indeed the round character in this book--probably because the story is essentially told from her perspective. Honestly, I was not familiar with everything she spoke about, and I almost couldn't read the Cockney. But to Mrs. Miniver's credit, she was not afraid of hard work, and she was willing to do everything she could to keep her family happy and together.

I gave this book only 3 stars because I just didn't feel I could get into it like I usually can. I was somewhat disappointed in the story and the fact that I never felt I really knew Mrs. Miniver--that is until the end of the story. My favorite chapter was probably the last chapter because I finally understood why Mrs.Miniver was the way she was. Want to know why? Not saying--read the book.

If you want a quick read that is not too deep and is quite classy, I would recommend this book. Know that there is not a lot of real action or deep emotion in it, but it is a classic after all. I will be watching the movie again very soon. Maybe I'll understand and remember it better.
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