(P)2002 Blackstone Audiobooks. Originally published in England between 1864 and 1866.
This was long and lovely,--a British accent is crisp and clear; Nadia May has that and more. The story is of Molly Gibson, a nineteenth century middleclass teenager, an admirable if slightly insipid heroine, her wonderful father--a country doctor, her magnetic stepsister Cynthia and Mrs. Gibson, the stepmother who is as close to innocuous evil as Ms Gaskell can bring herself, and various other characters of differing classes who live nearby and help make this book a 19th century soap opera. Don't be off put by the fact that the author, Elizabeth Gaskell, a contemporary of Austin and the Brontes, died just before finishing this classic. The afterword addresses the lack of an ending. We are given what we are told was the author's intent to have happy closure for the characters who most deserved it. It was a lovely voyage and that it ended just short of its destination did not make it much less enjoyable.
It has taken me nearly half a century to discover why classics are such great audio treats, not so different from the well written books of today, but missing the compulsory sex and vulgarities. This novel ensures that I will look for more Audible classics to savour.
Give me a good tale, one to make me stay up all night! I love non-fiction, and 19th century Victorian fiction. Georgette Heyer is a worthy successor to Jane Austen. Married, 2 kids, worked in tech support.
I love this book. I love to listen to the story. It pulls me into the story and the lives of these people. The author is witty, and some of Dr. Gibson's statements are worth the price of the book. The BBC adaptation (also wonderful) made me realize that Mrs. Gibson is really a ditzy person who speaks without thinking. Listening with that in mind really brings forward the satire. A true unknown classic.
I loved the characters' complexity.
Gaskell kept my interest by interweaving so many different scenes and personalities.
Although I did not admire her personality, my favorite scenes involved Mrs. Gibson portraying herself as one person while her words and actions showed her to be something completely different.
Yes, but impossible at 25 hours. I did not want the story to end.
This book makes me want to go back to reading 19th century fiction.
If you are looking for adventure and swift plot, this is not for you. If, however, you are looking for great characters and like English country stories, you will have a wonderful time with this one. The characters are a little like those in Trollope's Barsetshire novels, but they are more realistic - Cynthia is a great charachter, flawed, loving and fabulous. Nadia May is, of course, wonderful.
I love all of the characters and would have liked to live in their world for many more chapters. Nadia May is a favorite narrator for me. She does a wonderful job. I will hear Mr. Gibson forever in my head as the voice of reason. I will save this one for a second listening down the road.
Terrific narrator! But what a boring book. Couldn't even get through to the end of the first download. Sorry I wasted my credit.
"Lovely novel; wonderful reader (Nadia May)"
In terms of character creation this novel seems to me equal if not superior to anything by Dickens or George Eliot. How has Mrs Gaskell managed to make such an engaging, thoroughly satisfying narrative out of these humdrum,even banal events? Her creations are so individual, so varied and so real-seeming that the lack of any complicated plotting or intrigue never strikes you.
But I'd like to stress the superb interpretation by Nadia May, a reader new to me. I've listened to hundreds of audiobooks over many years (chronic insomniac) and am very fussy about how they are presented. Wrong inflections, careless or lazy readings where you know the interpreter is coasting through the text can be maddening and spoil the whole pleasure (and wake you up!) It's not the beauty of the sound that's most important; I've been listening to Penelope Wilton reading this novel on Oneword, and despite a delightfully seductive and warm voice her reading is nowhere near as intelligent and varied as that of Nadia May - who does a wonderful job with everyone from the child Molly to the saccharine, insincere Mrs Gibson, by way of various male characters young and old. What a tour de force! I hope she reads this...I felt uncharacteristically moved to express my pleasure.
"Great Characters & Social-scene Painting"
Mrs Gaskell gives life to a host of characters with their strengths and weaknesses lovingly depicted. None is two-dimensional, all have human depth. Mrs Kirkpatrick is a wonderful comic creation whom I could cheerfully have strangled on a number of occasions.
Mrs Gaskell's view of the foibles and conventions of 19th century England is gently optimistic. Her approach is softer and more domestic than Dickens (who rated her very highly).
Read with splendid chacterisations by Nadia May.
I read and listen to a lot of 19th century literature. Whilst you could not claim it has a lot of narrative drive - and you want to shake most of the characters a lot of the time - it was still very enjoyable. The good characters are convincingly good - and the mixed up characters are convincingly good at messing up their own lives and families. Mrs Gibson is a completely authentic pain in the neck. You would enjoy this book
"19th Centuary Charm"
Mrs Gaskell has a clear and, at times, acerbic eye for the social mores of her day. This tale of Dr Gibson and his family is to be remembered not just for for the trials endured by the heroine Molly Gibson, but the social milieu in which she had her being. This observation of the manners of a middle class family, the behaviour of the local aristocracy and an ancient yeoman farming family is the chief delight of this masterpeice which is without doubt the best of Elizabeth Gaskells's output.
The Reader, Nadia May, is so well suited to both the period and style that it is a performance which in every way compliments Mrs Gaskell's prose.
A very fine audiobook that, despite its length, was a total joy.
"Wives and Daughters"
This is the perfect book for those wishing to surround themselves in a pre railways era. Molly Mat seems a little mawkish to current day tastes but she wins your sympathy by the end, while the divine Cynthia holds your attention from the very beginning.
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