Parikhit's Reviews > Wives and Daughters

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
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Nov 23, 14

bookshelves: classics, arm-chair-challenge-2012, e-books
Read in May, 2012

I am so happy to have discovered Elizabeth Gaskell only made possible through a group read here. I would have genuinely missed out reading and loving the works of this authoress. ‘Wives and Daughters’ is the only one I have read so far and marks the beginning of many more Gaskell authored works.

The story is set in early 19th century in a small English town. The story centres on Molly Gibson, the only daughter of a widowed country doctor, likeable from the very first page with her sweet demeanour and good virtues. When Molly’s father remarries Molly had to put with a shallow and haughty Mrs. Kirkpatrick as her stepmother while she finds a friend in Cynthia, her stepsister. The marriage brings about a sea of changes in the otherwise quiet lives of father and daughter. We watch the sisters, absolute opposites, grow, love, suffer pain in love, be the centre of gossip and emerge happy. Gaskell has dexterously frozen the English society then and the characters are flawless reflection of their human imperfection. The novel is unfinished and that may come as a rude shock; nonetheless Gaskell paves the way for a reader to imagine what would have been a likely ending. One of the major highlights of the novel is the vivid description. Gaskell had me captivated with her rambling narrations. She, probably, is one of those very few writers who can lock their readers into a state of reading stupor even when ‘nothing much is happening’. One is bound to fall in love with the many plesant walks, tea parties, rural beautiful England!
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