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Archived Group Reads 2012 > Wives and Daughters Chapter XVII Trouble At Hamley Hall ~ Chapter XXV Hollingford IN A Bustle

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Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) For discussion of these chapters


message 2: by Bea (new)

Bea | 233 comments I don't seem to be able to put this book down! Lots of sadness and mystery in these chapters. I won't say more until others catch up.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) So glad you are enjoying it. It so reminds me of a pastoral novel. I think it is a novel of hopefulness, while Tess of the D'urbervilles for some reason fills me with foreboding.


message 4: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle (nicolemich) | 6 comments I am loving this book. I agree with pastoral comment. There is something relaxing and luxuriant about reading this book. Great characters!


message 5: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1424 comments Perhaps the feel that Gaskell created helps us to understand why Hamley was so protective of and loved his land so much - which kind of helps us to see all sides of this story. It is very easy to picture through the way Gaskell describes it.


message 6: by Christyb (new)

Christyb | 44 comments I feel as if Molly is a passive participant in her life. She let's things happen to her, but yet dies not try to change their course. She and Roger were close, and I could see a budding relationship. Cynthia enters the picture, and she seems to become the one Roger is interested in. I want to warn her that she might lose him, I want her to become an active participant in her life.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Christyb wrote: "I feel as if Molly is a passive participant in her life. She let's things happen to her, but yet dies not try to change their course. She and Roger were close, and I could see a budding relationshi..."

She is an observer of life, definitely not a participant in a great way. I have to think that Cynthia enjoys life so much more than poor Molly does.


message 8: by Becky (new)

Becky | 170 comments I dont know that Cynthia enjoys life more, I just think that she is more independent. She was raised away from her family, so she always had to worry about herself, an no one else, and she had to do for herself. Molly is used to having this loving community around her. Molly enjoys being outside, learning, definitly not things that Mrs. Gibson would consider "refined," and it appears that Mrs. Gibson fairly runs the house, Mr. Gibson seems to be the most passive and would rather escape to his work than deal in these "family/female matters." As Molly has no one to back her up, what is she supposed to do? She has absolutely no recourse in the matter. She has no money of her own, no position. Its really sad actually.

This was such a large section.

I cannot believe that Osborne is married (it makes it equally ridiculous with Mrs. Gibson so intent on marrying someone off to him). I really thought that he and his brother were hiding something, but I thought it was gambling debts or something, not a wife! No wonder he is broke.

As for Cynthia. I want to like her, and I think I do. I like that she dislikes her own mother, rebells against her, and takes the heat off of Molly. But with Roger being so obviously enchanted with her, and with that creeper Mr. P hanging about, I just dont know that I can trust her. Perhaps I'm just being a bit jealous for MOlly.

And poor Molly. Now discovering her feelings for Roger, who is so obviously enchanted with Cynthia. I find it odd that Molly is at this age, and is so surprised that she is having romantic feelings for anyone.

And of course, I’m heartbroken for the Hamley family. I really like Gaskell’s added significance to Lady Hamley’s position in the household. Here she was, an invalid, and previously depicted as meet, yet she was the cornerstone of the whole family. I feel like Gaskell was saying “see how much a woman and wife REALLY does.”

Naturally I continue to be apathetic towards Mr. Gibson, and dislike strongly Mrs. Gibson. Such a terribly selfish and disgusting woman.


message 9: by Julie (new)

Julie (juliemoncton) | 30 comments I agree that Molly hasn't had to fend for herself which might account for her passive behavior, but her breaking into tears all the time is annoying. I like Mr. Gibson, but I am disappointed that he doesn't try to intervene between Molly and his new wife.

What do people think is up with the creepy Mr. Preston? I suspect something scandalous between him and either Mrs. Gibson or Cynthia, but I can't imagine what it would be.

Also, I am surprised and sad to see that Squire Hamley has become so bitter and cranky - just not the same man without his wife.


message 10: by Becky (new)

Becky | 170 comments Yes Mr. Gibson continues to anger me.

And I dont know about Mr. Preston. I feel like he is blackmailing them with something? There is already one secret marriage in this book, and I dont know if Gaskell would really write about a woman being tainted or something. You know, if Cynthia had had a baby or something already? That just doesnt seem like Gaskell's style to me, but I really cant think of what it would be! Driving me nuts!


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Great suspense!

Mr Gibson is a character I can go either way with, either I like him or I don't. There does not seem to be any in between with me and my feelings of him.
Mr. Preston is a kind of dark spidery character. He does have something on them.


message 12: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) Cynthia's character is an odd puzzle to me. Gaskell gives us a long description of Cynthia when she sits on the floor and tries to comfort Molly after Mrs. Hamley's death. The descriptions seems to be full of contradictions, and Cynthia even describes herself in contradictory terms.

My overall sense was that I was being told not to trust Cynthia and I feel like this might have been foreshadowing for some sort of betrayal of Molly. I'm not even sure Cynthia's attention to Roger is what it seems. I think it might be designed to make Osborne pay more attention to her, out of jealousy or as a hard-to-get ploy... not knowing that Osborne is married to a wife it seems he is devoted to.

I have a sense of forboding...

We'll see.

And now, I'm off to the charity ball.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Janice George wrote: "Cynthia's character is an odd puzzle to me. Gaskell gives us a long description of Cynthia when she sits on the floor and tries to comfort Molly after Mrs. Hamley's death. The descriptions seems to..."

Gaskell is great for creating that suspense that makes her characters absolutely fun to unravel.


message 14: by Sera (new)

Sera I am really enjoying this book. I find it to be a much lighter read than Tess even though there is plenty of high drama.

Cynthia appears to have figured it out - how to deal with her mother, how to deal with men, and how to be independent. Molly is the complete opposite of her so the two make interesting comparative reading.

I feel for Molly even though she is quite sensitive. She has lost her mother, gained a new one (who isn't helpful) and the relationship that she had with her father has been reduced since she went to stay with the Hamleys. I found it interesting how Molly's relationship with the Hamleys grew to the point where one could argue that they have taken the primary role as family.


message 15: by Sera (new)

Sera Osborne's having a wife really floored me. I also found it amusing that Mrs. Gibson is trying to marry him to Cynthia when not only is he married, but he also has been deemed a failure.

I think that Roger is taken by Cynthia because as we know, she has that type of impact on all men. In my heart, I am hoping that he comes to his senses and sticks with Molly.


message 16: by Sera (new)

Sera Cynthia is a hard read because she has been especially kind to Molly and defends her but the whole Roger part has thrown me for a loop. I can't imagine that she has any interest in him because he is described as unattractive, but then again, Cynthia's independent, free thinking spirit may lead to want to be with a man such as Roger. Like many others who posted here, I am unsure of her at this point, but I want to believe that she wouldn't hurt Molly. The thing that leads me to believe otherwise is that earlier in the book, Cynthia tells Molly more than once what a bad person she is.


message 17: by Sera (new)

Sera Mr. Preston is creepy. The "something" appears to be between him and Cynthia, based upon how they act around each other - I also can't wait to see what it is.

I am really enjoying this story so far.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Happy to hear you like it, Sera. Yes, Mr Preston is creepy, yet Cynthis seems to be able to handle him. (a lot better than I think Molly ever could)


message 19: by Grace (new)

Grace Hendrian And yet, Mr. Preston does have quite a hold over Cynthia. She kind of acts like someone who is deeply in debt.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Yes, Grace, it does seem to be that.


message 21: by Sera (new)

Sera I agree as well. I'm about 3/4 of a way through the book and still waiting to read about what "it" is :)


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