Saturday, November 30, 2013

102. Mary Barton

Mary Barton
Elizabeth Gaskell
Around 400 pages

Now that the wacky celebration we had for post 100 is over, we can get back to reality here, if everyone's hangovers aren't too bad.  I actually thought we would break the good book streak at first with this one but I ended up really liking it.  I guess I am storing up a mega rant for Dickens.

Jem Wilson is in love with Mary Barton, but she dreams about marrying the rich, dashing Harry Carson.  Of course, women are silly, simple creatures and often can't make up their minds.  Mary really does love Jem, but after rejecting him once she can't say she likes him until he says it again, since men like to do the courting.  I really can't judge though since I haven't had a successfully relationship since.

Let's start with what I hated since one of my favorite things to do is complain.  Mary is an incredibly annoying character who is frequently described as honorable and beautiful.  Translation: she is an obnoxious brat who uses the people around her.  Additionally, Gaskell seemed to be trying so hard to make us feel sorry for the poor that it bordered on sappy.

However, this was an interesting story, even if Gaskell can't hold a candle to the Bronte sisters style wise.  I actually gasped at one development and found the character of Harry very entertaining.  Still, certainly not the best we have seen here.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Gaskell wrote this novel to distract herself from the death of her son.

Published anonymously.

UP NEXT: Shirley by Charlotte Bronte.


  1. well..I get you are a quite different person than the majority of people but I reaaally like you (or your blogs anyway)!you've been a big inspiration to me,I love reading books (even if sometimes I feel I have no real life -me finding reasons to ruin my pleasure again?nah..) and I have for a long time been planning on reading all the way this list...though,I have never thought of reading it chronologically (btw this is a greek word and I love finding a lot of them in your posts,since you use a more "sofisticated" -in a positive sense- language)! don't know me,you maybe even don't want to but I need to ask two things from you..a)please be more..elaborating -if it's the right word- give some more details to your readers about you,you reading the books,the books itselves,all the countries you've visited etc,believe me it's never boring!and also,post more often,even just to update us about your reading progress of a book! and b)I 'm not a native speaker,so I'm afraid I won't find the "obscurity well deserved" books of the list..could you help by sharing some links for ebooks to buy or even a hint where to find them on the internet?thank you in advance,hope to see some response,even a negative one!

    1. Wow, thank you so much! Those are really good suggestions. I will work on getting more ebook links (I mostly get the books out of the library). And I will try to post more; I think with the holidays I am going to get to read more. Thanks again!

  2. Thank you a lot for taking the time to think my suggestions!!keep the good work,we are always eager for more!!!

    1. Thank you! And yeah I would highly recommend going chronologically through the list; it is fascinating seeing how the novel develops!