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Wives and Daughters | [Elizabeth Gaskell]

Wives and Daughters

Molly Gibson lost her mother when she was a child. Any stepmother would have been a shock, but the new Mrs Gibson is a self-absorbed, silly little widow, and Molly's unhappiness is compounded by the realisation that her father has come to regret his second marriage.
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Publisher's Summary

Molly Gibson lost her mother when she was a child. Any stepmother would have been a shock, but the new Mrs Gibson is a self-absorbed, silly little widow, and Molly's unhappiness is compounded by the realisation that her father has come to regret his second marriage.

©2006 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)BBC Audiobooks LTD

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (282 )
5 star
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Overall
4.5 (146 )
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Story
4.6 (147 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Carl Smith 10-17-07
    Carl Smith 10-17-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    169
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    "Wonderful narrator"

    I'd enjoy anything read by Prunella Scales. I wish there were more books by her. I heard the humaness and humor of the author better than I would have if reading it myself in print.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelley CA, United States 11-29-07
    Kelley CA, United States 11-29-07 Member Since 2006

    Lover of ideas who feels no guilt at all about her pleasures.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    725
    ratings
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    133
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    Overall
    "Endless hours"

    Prunella Scales is fabuous and brought additional charm to the work but I really think everyone should know that the author died before she could write the ending and after the 14th hour, that's a little frustrating.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lyl nashville, tn, United States 05-21-12
    lyl nashville, tn, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    68
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    "Couldn't turn it off!"

    If you like Jane Austin you will love this book. The story is set in a small village in England and it centers around a doctor and his family and their neighbors. Gas kin uses this setup as a microcosm showing the nature of people and their reactions to each other and life in general. Although the book was written over 150 yrs ago, people are the same. I recognized more than one personalty! But you must like this type of book to enjoy it. Think Jane Austin! Also, the narrator is outstanding.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Macksville, Australia 10-01-11
    Amazon Customer Macksville, Australia 10-01-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I quite enjoyed this book. the heroine is very honourable but rather tearful which is rather off putting.. Perhaps she is a reflection of her age. Elizabeth Gaskell's characters do not have the sparkle of Jane Austen's but Jane Austen sets the bar rather high and Elizabeth Gaskell writes a very readable and enjoyable story. She puts quite a lot of "social conscience" stuff in her books.... I suppose it is because she was the daughter and wife of a minister. This does rather make the main character too good to be true. However, it all comes out in the end and I like the book well enough to buy more of Elizabeth Gaskell's titles as they become available on Audible.


    Have you listened to any of Prunella Scales’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is the first book I have bought in which Prunella Scales is the narrator.. She is excellent


    Was Wives and Daughters worth the listening time?

    Definitely. Overall I was sorry when it was finished.. The story doesn't have many highs and lows... It just trundles along. but it is an easy listen and you feel at the end of the book that you know and like the characters.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edyta Niemyjska 06-27-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Victorian Novel"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to a friend who feels like reading a victorian story. The description of characters is excellent, particularly the insights into the characters' motivations. The story line is engaging.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Portraits of the characters. Gaskel's descriptions are clear and sympathetic.


    What does Prunella Scales bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I don't know how to answer this question. The reader was very good.


    If you could take any character from Wives and Daughters out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Lady Harriet! I would know for sure that she would be honest with me.


    Any additional comments?

    Although I would recommend this book to any person who enjoys victorian literature, I have to note that the book was left unfinished. The author died before finishing the last chapter. Instead of the last chapter there is a lovely short essay buy her publisher that explains what Gaskel was planning to write. It was very pleasant to listen to it because it provided a reflection on the novel and the author. It was like a voice from the past, putting the novel into the context of her contemporary readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luchino Brooklyn, N.Y. USA 04-11-14
    Luchino Brooklyn, N.Y. USA 04-11-14
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    "Superb narrator/ divine acid portrait of step-mom"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    We all run out of Jane Austen books after a time. This very nearly ascents to the same heights of genius. The narrator is a gem.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wives and Daughters?

    Most of the scenes in which the step-mother tries to maintain her authority over her far-more intelligent and sensitive step-daughter. It's a struggle for mastery. There are also many comic scenes, where the step-mother shows her slavish devotion and worship of local aristocratic characters.


    What does Prunella Scales bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She is a master of different class and locality accents.


    If you could rename Wives and Daughters, what would you call it?

    My Step-Mother was a B**ch!


    Any additional comments?

    Some people may already love Prunella Scales, thanks to her performance in the televised "Lucia and Mapp." Here she outdoes herself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy McPherson, KS, United States 10-14-13
    Joy McPherson, KS, United States 10-14-13 Member Since 2011

    Love Jane Austen and Agatha Christy. Simple clean romance with lovable characters or non-gory, puzzling and amusing mysteries.

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    "Very good"
    Where does Wives and Daughters rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top 10


    What other book might you compare Wives and Daughters to and why?

    The Little House at Allington


    Who was the most memorable character of Wives and Daughters and why?

    Molly - she is the heroine


    Any additional comments?

    Very good story of family and relationships with a bit of romance

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nora Pacific Palisades, CA, United States 09-17-13
    Nora Pacific Palisades, CA, United States 09-17-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Victorian Pleasure"

    I just devoured this book! The characters are beautifully etched, with great humor and great sympathy. A truly fun book, and Prunella Scales is perfection. Can't wait to listen to more from her!
    Gasped when I got to the end, and found it was unfinished - but only a few pages short of the end. There is no doubt about how it will all turn out, but it's a shame she didn't get to finish it. Don't let that deter you - it's a delight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tracy thatcher, AZ, United States 07-04-13
    tracy thatcher, AZ, United States 07-04-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Author Dies Before the Ending"

    I SOOO wish I had known this before the end. I just about screamed when at the last chapter it stopped! That being said, I did enjoy the story. I spent almost 24 hours listening, and did not regret it until the very end. Even then, I think if I would have been prepared for the authors death, I would have been fine with it. She had already tied up the loose ends and the writing really was on the wall for the ending. After finishing the book, I immediately watched the mini-series and was happy that they really did end it with what I think was the perfect ending to Elizabeth Gaskell's story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Rochester, Australia 03-02-13
    Martin Rochester, Australia 03-02-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Ideal Performance"

    I only wish Prunella Scales recorded more audiobooks, as she is the ideal narrator for this sort of novel, flawlessly assuming every character, the author's above all.

    The novel is unfortunately unfinished, though only a few pages were yet to be written at Gaskell's death, and she had foreshadowed how the story would end. It would be a shame to miss such a good book because the ending is cut short, but you need to be aware of this before beginning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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