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Excellent Women
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message 1: by John (new)

John Seymour 3. Women and their relationship to work is a theme throughout the novel. Helena Napier, for example, struggles to balance her passion for fieldwork with her marital duties, while Mildred herself tries to maintain meaningful part-time work alongside solitude. How do their lives compare to the lifestyles of single women in their thirties today? Which of their problems continue to vex contemporary working women?

Book Wormy | 1815 comments Mod
I would say modern women still struggle to balance work and family life and are often criticized for their choices.

Mildred's situation is still relevant today although it would normally be women older than their 30's facing the choices she does.

Kristel (kristelh) | 3797 comments Mod
I agree with Book, there still is the struggle to balance work and family. I think some women would prefer to be outdoors and never do a lick of household chores.

message 4: by Pip (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pip | 1302 comments Muriel was critical of Helena for not being more domesticated, but her criticism was influenced by her attraction to Rocky, not because she disapproved of Helena's independence. Muriel had only part-time work because she could survive on the small independent stipend she had. I doubt whether the off-spring of vicars still get such a stipend from the church and although Muriel would not be considered on-the-shelf at thirty two today, she would almost certainly need full time work to survive.

message 5: by Patrick (new) - added it

Patrick Robitaille | 891 comments John's question also refers to the lifestyle difference of single women of both eras. Chalk and cheese: nowadays, single women are completely independent and are not definitely seeking to serve a man or a parish in the way depicted in the novel. I would say that they are also less involved in the community, but that applies to the population in general.

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