Monday, February 15, 2010

Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell

This is supposed to be her masterpiece. It's mostly about a girl and her father and what happens when he decides (after being a widower for many years) to remarry. It's very slow-paced, which is fine in the beginning when you're still getting a feel for the characters and the setting. It starts to drag, though, when the action gets going, and you want to know how things are going to resolve themselves and she takes 300 pages to do it!

The main problem: Gaskell died before she finished the book! No one told me and the story ends with only a chapter or two to go. It was really frustrating after investing myself for 650 pages. Maybe other versions have added an ending, but mine didn't.

But I've got my name in for the DVD at the library. I've heard the movie version is very good, so if you don't want to slog through the text, that is another option because it really is a good story. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I am not quite done with this one yet, but if I didn't have to put it down, I wouldn't. It is an awesome book. Our book club read it last month, but I am only just now getting to it. It is based in the deep south of Mississippi, during the days of MLK. It is about the racial tensions of the time, mostly through the perception of the black maids in a town. It switches around from chapter to chapter telling the story in a different maid's "voice", or that of a young society woman who is getting tired of how the "help" is being treated, and is secretly writing a book about it. Anyway, it is really well-written, not too wordy, but interesting. It is on the best seller list, so if you are like me and borrow from the library, you'll probably have a bit of a wait, but it is well worth it.