Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Read this during our late summer vacation at PEI, but am only unfortunately reviewing it on New Year's Day 2017. So an extremely truncated review that does not accurately reflect how much I thought about this book. I was overall disappointed. I found the storyline much less naturalistic and more overtly emotional than Middlemarch. That being said, I found the ending really painfully sad and it stayed with me for quite a while. The portrayal of the middle agricultural class and the family of sisters who had achieved various levels within that class was rich and entertaining. These aunts and their intense pressure to conform to certain behaviours gave me a better understanding of some of the parents of my friends on Vancouver island (many of whom had emigrated from Britain). However, major parts of the storyline felt melodramatic and forced on to this deep backdrop, giving the book overall an inconsistent and unsatisfying feel, at least for me.