Thursday, January 10, 2013

Some Light Classical Fare

Well now I had my ereader, but what to read? Didn't want to pay for anything, prime lending library did not show much promise, library ebooks were mostly checked out, and did I have the patience to get into a classic (or other copyright-expired material :))? Lucky for me, I found one for which the answer was yes - Miss Marjoriebanks.  This is a book that I heard of who knows where, maybe on some recommendation for what to read after Jane Austen? it's a minor English classic that I never read because it wasn't in the library (and I didn't care that much).  Lo and behold, the *very day* (maybe it was the day before) I needed something to read on my kindle, it was published as an ebook on amazon! Yay!

It proved surprisingly easy reading, actually.  It's the kind of thing that it's only a classic because it's still around - when it was originally published, I doubt it had any literary pretensions.  Which of course usually makes for a fairly light read.  It was a charmer in its own way, which is of course a way I am very familiar with - 19th century gentle England.   A little more middle class than my usual (townspeople, not (as they term it) "county", but they certainly acknowledge their own pretensions to gentility.  I guess it's much the same folk as Elizabeth Gaskell (the two I've read anyway, N&S and W&D), though possibly a little later in time.  In any case, quite my milieu.

Miss Marjoriebanks herself is quite a character, one of those indefatigable types who will always carry everything her way in the end (a'la The Grand Sophy).  I always like reading about cool people like that.  And I was fairly certain that there would be little or no romance from almost the beginning (just didn't see any likely candidates) so I didn't mind that none materialized.   Don't get me wrong, she does get paired off in the end, but that's not what the book is about...

... or is it? It's not, but then, what is the book about? Miss M. goes through machinations of various sorts to arrange various things to her satisfaction, some of which are more successful than others.  But in the end of the day, does it make much difference? The denouement of the book is precipitated by an event that renders all past history moot.  Well maybe that's the point of the book, all the machinations lead us right back to where we started (slight spoiler :)) but it does seem a bit of a letdown after all the glorious schemes.  Still the journey was entertaining enough, and Miss M. gets her happy ending, so I'm not overly inclined to complain.  Definitely a point in its favor that it kept me so well entertained, even in ereader form.

Verdict: 4/5

No comments:

Post a Comment