I enjoy reading old novels such as this, as it always gives an interesting perspective on what life was like - more than a simple history textbook can do. And this novel is no exception. Gaskell's writing delves really into the thought processes of her characters. Occasionally this piece can be a little too melodramatic for my tastes, but that does come with the territory of being a 19th C social novel. Overall, I highly enjoyed the work and would recommend it to anyone how enjoys this genre.
My only negative comment is that the narrator is - more often than not - too dragging to enjoy getting into the work. He specializes is reading classic literature (as I surmise from his list of credits) but his need to emphasize every word or sentence is quite draggy and often made me tune out his monotonous voice. I felt that he captured the essence of the older characters such as Mr. Hale or Mr. Bell; but his other characters did not have the right kind of energy for me. Be wary of this reader, unless you prefer long, drawn out readings and a performance that often did not feel like it lived up to the author's intended conveyance of her words.
Also, on a technical note about the reader, I felt that during long passages of dialog, the characters' voices were not consistent. This is my opinion - as one who deals with sound professionally - so please take or leave this criticism.
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