Elizabeth S's Reviews > North and South

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
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's review
Jan 16, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: n-misc-fiction, z-2011, c-adult
Read from February 15 to 21, 2011

This has got to be the best book that I never would have read if it wasn't handed to me by a friend who has never failed me in a book recommendation. I'd never heard of this book or Elizabeth Gaskell (I wonder if that reveals a deficiency in my literary education), and I'm sure I never would have had any interest in reading it just based on the general descriptions.

There were several points while reading that the book felt very Jane Austeny, but that doesn't mean the book is a Jane Austen clone. Rather it is the same flavor and literary style that Jane Austen used, although it addresses social issues from a later decade. The pros and cons of rural life versus city/manufacturing life, male versus female roles, union versus master, etc. are all discussed. And yet the story is still deep and meaningful. It doesn't feel like a book written just to forward a political agenda. The characters were interesting and well drawn. I very much enjoy a book like this where the characters have faults and difficulties that they grow and learn from.

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Reading Progress

02/17/2011 page 50
12.0% "So far have mostly just established characters and the need for the family to move. Some subtle humor."
02/18/2011 page 87
20.0% "Margaret has now moved to the "north" of England. Funny how North versus South in England is similar to the USA."
02/19/2011 page 164
39.0% "The strike has started. It seems like I'm reading a Jane Austen book mixed with manufacturing and union issues."
02/20/2011 page 265
62.0% "The plot thickens. The romantic aspect is still rather Jane Austeny, but the death, injury, and danger gives the book a different overall tone."

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