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Archived Group Reads 2012 > Wives and Daughters Chapter LIII Unlooked-For Arrivals ~ The End

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Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) For discussion of these chapters


message 2: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle (nicolemich) | 6 comments This book was fabulous and I am so disappointed that it was not able to be completed! Ah, I guess I will have to imagine my own ending! Four stars for me, it could have been five if not for the unfortunate abrupt end!


message 3: by Denise (last edited Mar 11, 2012 02:03PM) (new)

Denise (dulcinea3) | 400 comments I agree, Nicole. When I started reading the novel, I did not realize that it had been left uncompleted by Mrs. Gaskell's death. At least the magazine editor indicated how it was to end. It's still my favorite Gaskell that I have read so far, though.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Yep, Mrs G had a heart attack and died before completion of this novel. I like it a lot, but think North and South is my favorite of hers so far.


message 5: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle (nicolemich) | 6 comments I definitely will have to read that next and make a study of all her work.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Finshed the book last night. I really enjoyed it. I did have a heard time sometimes becouse it seemed to move a little slowe sometimes. But I think that is becouse I have not read classic books for sometime and they are just writen differint. But all in all I really liked the book. I'll have to read her other books.


message 7: by Janie (new)

Janie (justjanie) | 57 comments I just finished last night. I only had two chapters left for the longest time! I'm glad I was prepared for the abrupt "ending," or I would have been disappointed. The most negative thing about the book was the length. It was very long; Gaskell could have told the same story in 400 or so pages. What do the rest of you think?

Overall I just love Gaskell's subtle and powerful character development. She is definitely an underrated writer and at least as good as her old pal Dickens. I'm looking forward to reading North and South and Cranford soon.

I'm also really enjoying this group. I can't wait to find out our new "big" reads for May/June!


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I agree about the length, Janie, but as you know the Victorians writers seemed to write extremely long sagas. (although some of her books are a lot shorter) This book was a serial presented in a magazine from August of 1864 to January of 1866. Frederick Greenwood wrote the last section when Mrs G. died. He was the editor of the magazine that this story was serialized in.

So happy you enjoyed both the book and the group. We do have some surprises up our sleeves for May and June. Be on the lookout...:)


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Jamie wrote: "Finshed the book last night. I really enjoyed it. I did have a heard time sometimes becouse it seemed to move a little slowe sometimes. But I think that is becouse I have not read classic books for..."

I agree, Jamie, there was a bit of slowness in the middle section, but overall it was a book that kept one pretty engaged I think.


message 10: by Becky (new)

Becky | 170 comments Oh Gaskell, why could you not finish this work? I’m glad to know that she at least revealed to friends that Roger would return to present Molly with the pretty little Nosegay and seek her hand in marriage. I think what I am most curious about actually is how Cynthia would have been involved in that, or Lady Harriet? I guess my questions really linger around the side characters. Would Cynthia have helped Molly confront her on feelings? Would Lady Harriet go to cause for Molly to Roger’s father, who, thankfully has come around. Did Mr. Gibson ever settle himself to his annoying wife? How would Molly’s private fortune really play out? What would Mrs. Gibson do if she found out about it? Still, I’m happy enough with the end. Knowing that it ends happily satisfies me. I’m sure Gaskell would have made the engagement equal parts charming and beautiful. A thoroughly satisfying read.


As for the rambling of the Victorians. They were so involved in each others lives (for better or worse) that I think stories that truly mimiced the pace of life were preferable. When you spend almost all of your time making calls, gossiping, and your whole life revolves around other people, you probably want to be more intimate with the characters in a book, want them more flushed out and real.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Becky wrote: "Oh Gaskell, why could you not finish this work? I’m glad to know that she at least revealed to friends that Roger would return to present Molly with the pretty little Nosegay and seek her hand in m..."

I think you are right, Becky, about the characters in books of that time. I always remind myself that reading was a great pastime for the Victorians. There was not much else to do so there was, I imagine, lots of time to read and therefore I think authors developed their characters, their settings, their stories with a lot more words and mental pictures than one finds in today's novels. These were not people use to instant gratification, they did seem more patient, more willing to wait and to let a story happen gradually.

We often hear of people today, who when they do read, shy away from books of a certain length. The length seems to, in some cases, become the determining factor of whether a novel is read or not.


message 12: by Becky (new)

Becky | 170 comments I always find it funny when people start suggesting a book to me, but then qualify it with "but its 400 pages... so I dont know if you'll enjoy it." These are obviously not people that know me well. Granted, there is nothing I hate more than a modern day book thats 900 pages long and only need to be 300. I hate rambling for the sake of rambling. But when Victorian authors ramble its always so beautiful that it never seems to bother me. If a book is well written it can be as long as it wants :)


message 13: by Julie (new)

Julie (juliemoncton) | 31 comments I just finished this book today and LOVED it. One of the things That surprised me is that by the end of the book, even characters that I didn't initially like (Hyacinth and Cynthia for example), I found had redeemable and likeable qualities. No one was truly 'evil' or cast as the typical villain. It impresses me that Mrs. Gaskell was able to pull that off. I even thought that therre was genuine affection from Mr. Gibson for Hyacinth. He definitely found her a little lacking in values, but he still seemed wanting to take care and provide for her. I didn't find the book too long. Some of the digressions were so humorous and the side characters were very funny. What a loss that this story was unfinished!


message 14: by Sera (new)

Sera I just finished the book and intend to give it 4 stars. A nice, fun read of my first Gaskell book. I agree that the ending was abrupt, but I was prepared for it, and a tad bit relieved, since it was likely to go on for another 200 pages :)

Overall, I really liked the characters and all ended as it should. I will also read more Gaskell in the future. North and South and Cranford have both become "must reads" now.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) So glad you liked your first Gaskell....


message 16: by Sera (new)

Sera :)


message 17: by Parikhit (new)

Parikhit | 22 comments Am I the only guy to have read ‘Wives and Daughters’? Nonetheless I loved the book and rated it 5 stars. My entry comes tremendously late for I had to abandon the book midway and could only resume this week. I am pleasantly surprised to have discovered Gaskell-such a fabulous authoress! I dwelt in her beautiful writing all this while; the description may be rambling but precisely that’s what made the read a pleasure.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) So glad you enjoyed this story. I, too, think Mrs. Gaskell was a wonderful author. I hope you will be able to read more of her work and enjoy it just as much. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.


message 19: by Parikhit (new)

Parikhit | 22 comments Marialyce wrote: "So glad you enjoyed this story. I, too, think Mrs. Gaskell was a wonderful author. I hope you will be able to read more of her work and enjoy it just as much. Thank you for sharing your thoughts wi..."

It is so hard to find her works in the libraries here. Thankfully I found the e-books. I personally do not enjoy reading e-books but Mrs. Gaskell has instigated me to read them. I have downloaded all her works!


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Parikhit wrote: "Marialyce wrote: "So glad you enjoyed this story. I, too, think Mrs. Gaskell was a wonderful author. I hope you will be able to read more of her work and enjoy it just as much. Thank you for sharin..."

Perfect.....enjoy them all....


message 21: by Denise (new)

Denise (dulcinea3) | 400 comments This was the first Gaskell novel I read (I've only read three so far), and still my favorite! I will definitely read more of her works!


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