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The Bride's Farewell

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,856 Ratings  ·  334 Reviews
Read Meg Rosoff's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

A tender and magical tale from an award-winning, international bestselling novelist

Pell Ridley, daughter of a good-for-nothing preacher in mid-nineteenth century England, has watched her mother crushed by the burden of too many children and too little money. Unwilling to repeat her fate, Pell runs away o
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 27th 2010 by Penguin Books (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Emily May
Feb 04, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, romance, 2011
So disappointed. I loved Rosoff's 'How I Live Now' and I had high expectations of this book... but no.

It was painfully boring, and thankfully short as well because I couldn't wait for it to be over. I think it was meant to be deep and moving but I felt no connection with the protagonist and all the endless talk about horses and farming nearly sent me to sleep.

I can't believe the difference between the gripping and rather disturbing 'How I Live Now' and this load of pointless waffle. It didn't wo
May 24, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love Meg Rosoff’s work. “How I Live Now” and “Just In Case” were refreshing and vibrant, with a fascinating layer of unease throughout the simple but highly effective prose. Both books received mass acclaim, both from teens and adults, and many literary awards, such as the Carnegie Medal and Printz Award. I highly recommend her first two books to anyone in search of a book that proves YA can be just as moving, surprising and intriguing as anything intended for adults.

Unfortunately, I cannot sa
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully sparce, unsentimental writing. Hauntingly stoic characters, taking charge of their own destinies. Complex plot, rather like a rough roundabout: characters get on, fall by the wayside, meet up again...all have a part to play in Pell's story. And the understated (we never learn what the Dogman's name is!) Pell & he are perfect equals – working quietly alongside each other. No expectations, no force. Rather like animals sharing their existence. Actually the whole novel ...more
Debbie Gascoyne
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I think both the picture on the cover and the cover blurbs do this rather remarkable and extremely UN-romantic novel a disservice. They make it sound like a rollicking, romantic romp, and those who come to it with those expectations will be sorely disappointed. I admit to beginning it with those pre-conceptions and almost bouncing off it, but because it was Meg Rosoff who is always good and because the writing is spare and compelling I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. The Bride's Farewell tells ...more
Apr 21, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First off, let me say that I am an earnest fan of Rosoff's previous How I Live Now and What I Was. These two works display her ability to create rich characters worth caring about, around whom the story falls in place as a secondary element but a compelling one. I enjoy the voices of the narrators she creates and the voices they have, which are strong, sincere, and witty. So, yes, comparison with these previous works was inevitable. But I would have found The Bride's Farewell lacking without the ...more
Feb 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: surprisingly safe for any teen girl
Where's the edge, Meg? Where's the creepy factor? No incest, no abuse, no apocalypse. I hardly recognize you, Meg.

Despite it's serious lack of edginess and the fact that I am NOT a horse girl, I actually enjoyed this one. Because it was a Book CLub selection, I had my pen at the ready to take brilliant and thought-provoking notes. And yet. As I turned the final page, my notepad was still blank. I have absolutely no critical thoughts on this book. Not a one. You might be tempted to say it was my
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this and lapped it up in a night, like ice cream. Set in the middle of the 19th century in some wild back of beyond British setting right out of Hardy, it tells a fairy like tale of Pell, a 17 year old bride to be who flees a future that she knows will confine her like a coffin: marriage and "a house full of children." As the eldest daughter of 8 children born to a haggard mother and an abusive "preacher" father, Pell wants nothing to do with such a life, though Birdie, her intended, has ...more
Terri Trimble
The Bride's Farewell is set in mid-19th century Wiltshire and tells the story of runaway bride Pell. Pell's family is trapped in hopeless poverty, while her husband-to-be Bridie comes from a family that is "hard-working, honest and resourceful". They have been friends since childhood and it's assumed that they will be married one day, but Pell looks at her mother, exhausted from childbearing and disappointment, and rejects the future she represents. Because she can't bring herself to refuse Brid ...more
Bleakkkk is pretty much the word I think of when I read this book. The heroine runs away from her impending marriage with a horse and her brother, but life afterward isn't a happy one. It's very bleak and grim and for every half-decent turn, the heroine gets beaten down a little further later.

I didn't connect with any of the characters well. Pell shows some fire with her decision to run away, but life has a way of beating you over the head (well, in this book) so that by the end she seems rathe
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short, entertaining novel in an unexpected style, with a main character that isn't just a scared little girl.
Jun 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, uk
I have an unfinished copy of How I Live Now (bookmarked halfway through when I stopped about a year ago and never bothered to pick back up) sitting on my shelf, so I surprised myself when I picked up The Bride’s Farewell.

It looks like an easy read~ short and sweet, hinting at the kind of romance that you imagine must be epic with such a classic tale.

It is not easy, or short, or sweet.

It’s more like~


lovely with quiet moments of nostalgia, descriptions that will
Aug 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-uns, historical
When I'm opening up a new Meg Rosoff novel I literally never know what to expect. In a good way. She never tells the same story twice. She does generally center her stories around a character who feels ambivalent, anxious, or sometimes downright disenchanted with his or her world. She explores themes both serious and disturbing and her resolutions are bittersweet at best. And yet I love her writing. She's an auto-buy for me and has been ever since I first read How I Live Now and thought I would ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010

Meg Rosoff’s novel The Bride’s Farewell has the ingredients of a fine story: a scenic rural setting and a headstrong heroine mix with the author’s refined prose in a tale of self-discovery. Ultimately, the story is just fine. Okay. But for a writer of Rosoff’s caliber, being mediocre is an unexpected disappointment.

Rosoff’s previous works, including the award-winning How I Live Now and the haunting What I Was, evidence her ability to craft complex, memorab
Jan 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens and adults
See the review on our teen blog! http://palatinelibraryteens.blogspot....

In Meg Rosoff's latest book, The Bride's Farewell, readers are transported to rural England in the 1850s. The book begins with a gallop, literally, and the pace never slows from page one. Pell Ridley is a runaway bride, and on the morning of her wedding, she takes her trusty horse, Jack, and rides away from a future of toil and child-rearing and into a future of uncertainty and adventure. Except that Bean, her mute younger
Jun 04, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When my aunt handed me her copy of this book not five years ago, she told me that she can't fathom what the award-winning author, Meg Rosoff, wanted to say when she created the story of Pell Ridley. Now that I've read the first 90 pages and instinctively skimmed the remaining 95 pages, I can understand her meaning. I even looked at the publishing reference to find out which publishing house bought the rights to this book (Penguin Books) out of mild amusement and a bit of disbelief that a book wi ...more
Apr 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: carnegie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Bride's Farewell, by Meg Rosoff we meet Pell Ridley. Pell is one of nine children who decides to run away on the morning of her wedding rather than go through with her marriage to a local blacksmith. Pell takes her horse Jack, her youngest brother Bean, who is mute, and some money that was saved for the wedding and, takes off for the horse fair hoping to make it on her own.

Pell is strong , smart and independent, and she seems to know what she she wants in life. She witnessed her mother's
I started this book as an audio CD, then picked up the hard copy as the library as I got caught up in the story and didn't want to wait until the next driving opportunity. It was well narrated by a woman named Susan...? The story was good. Not complicated or sophisticated but I liked the main character and the back up characters were also well crafted. The book turned out to be YA, although that was not indicated on the CD. As a YA book, l'd recommend it to young girls as it is a strong story ab ...more
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meg Rosoff's books, in my experience, always seem to have a surreal sort of feel to them. The Bride's farewell was no exception. Told in a time not-quite-specified, beginning in a town called Nomasland and featuring characters that somehow, using the slightest amount of words, are full and real in your mind. In light, almost indifferent writing, the story of the main characters unfurls and comes to life.
I loved the way Pell was written. You didn't get the feeling that the author was trying to m
Nov 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-books
This quiet little gem from Rosoff is a rural Victorian England coming of age tale told in a fairy-tale tone, sans magic. Teenage Pell abandons her large farm family the morning she is to be married to a neighbor boy, taking only her favorite horse and her mute little brother Bean. After losing both the horse and the boy through a deal with an unscrupulous man, she scours the countryside for them while taking on various odd jobs to fund her quest, never losing faith that they will be reunited. Ro ...more
Aug 31, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a strange little book. The premise was o.k. - poor girl abandons her family and home the night before she is to be married to poor village boy and tries to make it on her own in the overwhelmingly unforgiving and harsh world of 18th century England - but I didn't like that the author never fills you in much on the character of the man she's abandoning, her relationships with her family members and how there just isn't that much emotion or feeling in any of the story. The writing was very du ...more
I adored this book. It reads a little bit like a fairytale. I'd recommend it to anyone. There are elements of a love story in it and it's very sweet but in a very unsentimental way. The main character and her love interest face problems, but these are mostly problems of a practical nature and they're not the kind of people who sit around sighing, longing for each other and waiting for their problems to solve themselves. The characters are rational and able to think on their feet, which I thought ...more
Apr 03, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book shouldn't really be on my 'read' shelf due to the fact that I only go to page 36, but I say if there's justification in stopping then it is fine. The reason I stopped this book was...

It was boring.

Simple as.

Nothing happen, and it know I only got a fifth of the way in but the fact that when you looked at any page there was NO dialogue was just off putting. There were just huge chunks of text, waffling on about Pell and her horse. Would you really want to read that?

Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Es el primer libro que leo de Meg Rosoff y probablemente sea el último. No fue en absoluto lo que esperaba (y no en el mejor sentido). No me pareció una historia juvenil, ni muchísimo menos infantil. Es cruda pero sin llegar a ser conmovedora. Pell fue un personaje con un inicio prometedor pero rápidamente decayó y, aún cuando comparto muchos de sus ideales, no logró convencerme.

Su "final" (al fin y al cabo) fue exactamente el que tanto trató de evitar (view spoiler)
Sondra Wilson
Just started this last night and am 1/3 of the way through this novella (only 200pages). The chapters are brief, the story unravels in small pieces. It suits my attention span.
Finished. This is quite the story of suffering and making due. The heroine is a real trooper. Nothing seems to go as she plans but she continues to come up with new plans and work it out as she goes. I can appreciate that concept.
Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story, written quite well. I felt engaged with the main character and all the feelings were heartfelt throughout her journey. It's not a book I'd read again, however it is a good enough story to recommend to others. At no point did I lose patience, the plot is nice and fast paced. Heart breaking sort of story but kind of teaches you that what will be, will be.
Jordan Lammert
It reminded me of Gone with the wind at times.
I have... no idea really what to think of this book. The first pages start off well as Pell runs off in the middle of the night to escape marriage. But then it all just gets so dull and drags on and just.... depressing. So much misfortune, thinking back it kind of reminds me of things that happen in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Thing after thing goes wrong, and the story also jumps around from where she is in the "present" to her situation growing up. The narration even occasionally slips int ...more
Mariam Abdel-Razek
What does one expect from a Meg Rosoff book? Really, nothing - except the unexpected. Rosoff specialises in introducing you to characters, plots, themes you think you've seen before, then surprising you with them, like the most beautiful slap to the face you will ever experience. She never patronises her readers with black and white or good or evil - her worlds are grey, sharply realised, vividly written. Slim, rich, strange, wonderful...Meg Rosoff never hesitates to give classic teen fiction th ...more
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. YA Book about runaway girl who is a horse expert [s] 6 205 Sep 16, 2015 07:44PM  
Just won an ARC of Bride 1 13 Jul 15, 2009 12:15PM  
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Meg Rosoff was born in Boston and had three or four careers in publishing and advertising before she moved to London in 1989, where she lives now with her husband and daughter. Formerly a Young Adult author, Meg has earned numerous prizes including the highest American and British honors for YA fiction: the Michael L. Printz Award and the Carnegie Medal.
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“She frowned at him. 'You are in love with solitude.'
'Is there a better cure for the world than solitude?”
“She accepted the permission bestowed by passion to live entirely in the present.” 4 likes
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