Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Review: Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Book: Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Genre: Classic

Rating: A-

I'm starting to think I start out my reviews the same every time, but it's true, I've been wanting to read this book forever. First, because I love Elizabeth Gaskell, and second because I heard they made a great movie from it. And you know, of course, that I have to read the book first, before watching the movie!

Anyway, this one was quite different from the other novels of hers that I've read. Those had very complicated, involved, soap opera-y plots. This one was much simpler, about a group of ladies who live in Cranford, and what they observe about the town and about each other. It's told through the eyes of a girl who grew up there, but moved away, yet comes back for frequent visits, and lets us know what's going on each time she visits. I was surprised we didn't get to know more about her as the book went on. She truly kept herself out of the main action for the most part.

Most of the action centers around Miss Matty, a spinster in the town. Some of my favorite parts, however, were when we got a glimpse into her childhood. I would have loved more elaboration on that. But this book wasn't about those details, it was about a glimpse, a taste, of the life these ladies led.

It was a very fun, enjoyable book to read. Very heart -warming and happily ever after-ish. And I learned a new word: bugbear which means a fault or "standing characteristic" a person has for which people constantly bug you about.... a character flaw perhaps. I love that word, bugbear. Our narrator thought her bugbear was indiscretion, but she proved otherwise.

Anyway, though it wasn't as involving as say Wives and Daughters, it was still a very fun and quaint book. Thanks, Heather J, for letting me participate in my first read along! Now I have only two Gaskell books left to read and I can say I've read them all, I think. Mary Barton is at the top of that list.

And a trailer for the movie that I hope to watch soon:


  1. I like this author as well! I loved the book and movie of Wives and Daughters. I loved the movie Cranford and look forward to reading the book.

  2. Thanks for joining in the read-a-long! I've added your review to my link list. So glad you enjoyed it. :)

  3. I'm glad you liked it too! Now I'm a bit afraid of the "soap opera-y" other books !!!

  4. I've never read any of Gaskell but I keep intending to. I can't decide if I should read one of the longer ones with stories I'd like better, or Cranford which is shorter but I might not enjoy as much.

  5. I loved this movie! I really like this author too. Great review.



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