Friday, June 19, 2009

Review of Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell

Summary from the Back of the Book:
Set in Manchester in the 1840z- period of industrial unrest and extreme deprivation-Mary Barton depicts the effects of economic and physical hardship upon the city's working-class community. Paralleling the novel's treatment of the relationship between masters and men, the suffering of the poor, and the workmen's angry response, is the story of Mary herself: a factory-worker's daughter who attracts the attentions of the mill-owner's son, she becomes caught up in the violence of class conflict when a brutal murder forces her to confront her true feelings and allegiances.

The beginning started out slow. It was mostly about society and politics of the period for the first 100 pages. The last 200 pages were filled with excitement that kept you at the edge of your seat. I am glad I stayed past the first 100 pages because I ended up liking the book after all. The character were interesting and did wonder what was happening to them. The prose was great and it help you get inside the mind of the characters. Also included in my copy are two lectures on Lancashire dialect. Which at times in the book was hard to understand. While I did not read the lectures I may go back and read them at a later time. This is not my first work by Ms.Gaskell it certainly won't be my last. My advice is after the first 100 pages you will get to the meat and potatos of the the story.

My overall rating is: 4/5

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