Juliet Stevenson magnificently narrates Elizabeth Gaskell's classic novel. Her brilliance as an artist is masterfully portrayed in the use of dialect and accent to portray individual characters.
My mistake for not previewing 1st. The narrator sounded as if she was decades older than the 19 year old MC and/or a very heavy smoker - a really bad match. Had the performance itself not been so good, it would have completely ruined it for me.
The choice of narrator.
Terrific novel--Gaskell is a new discovery for me. She's not the wit or stylist Austen is, but she gives an entirely new twist to the Victorian marriage plot (no spoilers here, but look for the role reversals in the lead couple). Juliet Stevenson is MAGNIFICENT, goes straight to the top of my brilliant Brit readers list.
I'd rank this novel in the top ten. I'll be looking for other books by the author.
I admired Margaret although her reticence and scruples made her slow to express her feelings.
Not that I recall, but her voice and delivery suited the text, and the characters.
A sensitive and intelligent woman lives the changes brought about by England's move into the industrial age.
I just "cheated" by reading an online biography of Gaskell. I'm astounded that I had never heard of this prolific Victorian writer--admired by Dickens and by critics then and now. Her descriptions are beautiful, and her characters "real." She wrote "Cranford" which was made into a BBC series with Judy Dench.
Yes, only because Juliet Stevenson has an amazing talent. I haven't read the print version, but Juliet does an amazing job of narrating.
Margaret, the main character, is much in the style of Austin's Mr Darcy. The story is a portrayal of the working class in the 1800's. The author acknowledges and invites world-wide influences to the storyline and the resulting picture drawn is refreshing.
The finale captured me in a way that no other author has. I laughed and held my breath for the next sentence and then realised it was all over. It left me disappointed that there was no more until I realised there couldn't have been a better finish.
Mr Hale's death scene was quite a surprise.
There was a single character who only had one or two lines in the whole book that Juliet portrayed in such a fashion that I think stole the whole show. I can't recall what was said or who the character was, but the sense of utter perfection in portrayal is still with me a week after I finished reading it.
In a Jan Austiny way the book had about the same kind of characters. Margaret, the beautiful and level headed heroine was a great character study. I liked the way Gaskell got into the heads of the characters and analyzed their feelings and motives. I thought the reader was great as she switched amongst the British and Scottish accents of the gentry and the common folk.
It was a sociological study of the differences in the Northern Industrial conditions and the agrarian South in England. Margaret was advocating communication between the 'masters' and the common worker for better production and conditions for both. Unrequited love was also a constant theme throughout the book.
I was rather sad when it ended.
I loved the movie North and South so I thought I would love to book. I could not get into the book so I decided to go the audiobook route. I love to hear Juliet Stevenson read so it was a great deal for me. I did not love the actual book ending - but that has nothing to do with the quality of the story/narrator. I just liked the movie ending better.
Juliet Stevenson has a voice which is calm and easy to listen to.
Obviously Pride and Prejudice although this has more of a 'historical fiction' feel but the characters are just as wonderful. This is a bit darker of a story but the "passionate battle" between Margaret and John is even more emotionally exciting than Elizabeth and Darcy and that is saying a lot as P&P is my favorite!
I think I love the end when Margarets face is buried in her hands and he says her name in that calm, low, passionate voice.