Marin's Reviews > Wives and Daughters

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
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's review
Jul 28, 2009

really liked it
Read in June, 2009

This book was charming, and I enjoyed reading it from beginning to premature end.

I hate to be the two millionth person to compare Gaskell to Austen, but so many people are familiar with Jane Austen's work that she has become a handy shorthand author for this type of writing. Readers who love Jane Austen's work will love this book for its similarities, and they may be interested by the differences.

This book is a little darker than, say, Sense and Sensibility. Sometimes the characters acted silly and selfish, but other times they were sinister and complicated in ways that Austen never fully explored. Also, the references to social classes were more complex. Think, Jane Austen with a splash of Charlotte Bronte and a pinch of Charles Dickens. Quite my cup of tea.

This book is unfinished. The book was originally written in serial form, and the final couple of chapters were never written before Gaskell died. The reader isn't left wondering what will happen plot-wise, but you don't read this book for the plot (if you do, it'll be a pretty tedious slog). You read it for the whole experience, and it is extremely disappointing to have the experience cut to a jarring end.
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