Monday, August 06, 2012

North and South Read-a-long, Discussion #1

Hey everybody! Thanks for stopping by for our first installment of the North and South Read-a-long!

I readily admit that I'm still behind. This past week put a bit of a dent in my reading plans, but I shall catch up in the coming week. I hope you're doing better. Feel free to answer the questions below in your own blog post if they're helpful. Heather and I are both a little behind, so they may be slightly limited. You can also just feel free to ramble about your reading experience so far. No need for spoiler warnings if you're discussing Chapters 1-14.

1. How are you liking the book?

2. What is up with Margaret's father? Begin Heather's diatribe here: Is it just me, or is he one of the most self-centered characters ever? He inflicts all this pain and confusion the women of his family, then can't bare to hear them in distress. Good grief man, grow a few. (Feel free to leave that last part out, or rewrite it. I just had to get that out.) <--Andi chose to leave it because it's a peek "behind-the-scenes" at what our e-mails usually look like. Ha!

3. What do you think of Thornton and his first impression of Margaret? 

4. Feel free to ramble from here on and add your own link to the Mr. Linky...

So now for my own observations. And they are quite limited, but they're mostly in regards to Gaskell's writing rather than the plot.

It's interesting to read Gaskell for the first time, as I often see her compared to Jane Austen. I hadn't explored the similarities and differences until today, but some of the tidbits I learned are things I've picked up on very early in North and South. Namely, that Gaskell's writing is a great deal more realistic. That is, there doesn't seem to be the same humor or maybe the concentration of humor I expect to find in Austen. According to this post, Gaskell's work is closer to other Victorian authors: Dickens, Hardy, the Brontes than Austen's. Having read a good bit of Dickens and a couple of Brontes, I concur. :)

I do find the cadence of her writing odd at times and it's necessary to give it a fair bit more attention than I might've to other novels of this time period. It's not difficult reading per se, but word choice or analogies can be odd and take an extra time through.

As I said, I'm not as far in as I'd like, so there will be much more to say in future posts.


Everyone who links back to their own post this week will be entered to win an e-book from the Girlebooks store as well as a beautiful "In My Book" bookmark/greeting card combo. If you haven't seen these, they're really cool! They fold out like a greeting card but are the perfect size of a bookmark. Like 'em on Facebook, too.

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