Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Review: North & South

Title: North & South
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell
1st published: 1855
My rating: 5/5 stars!
Cool fact!: Charles Dickens was the editor for this book.

"When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill-workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction. In North and South Elizabeth Gaskell skilfully fused individual felling with social concern, and in Margaret Hale created one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature." -back of the book

This is one of my favorite books! I love the setting contrast between the north and the south. The characters are wonderful and full of verity. And there is romance, and not trash silly romance either!

The characters are one of my favorite parts. The one that always sticks out to me is Mrs. Thornton. She is a woman who has been through a lot in her life, and is tough. She loves her son and would do anything for him. She is not the hard rock and ice that she seems to the on looker. She has feelings but keeps them to herself. Mr. Thornton is someone who I admire as well. He has worked hard to get where he is at and is smart despite is lack of education. He is polite too, I have never been able to understand what on earth Margaret dislike about him. He changes through the course of the book to, I liked watching his character develop.

Margaret is one who I sometimes think is to proud, and perhaps a little stuck up. She is strong and is not afraid to speak her mind. I admire how she cares for her family. She is strong and that makes her the pillar in her family during hardship. Her father is sweet, kind and polite to everyone not just those in higher positions.

All the other characters are quite enjoyable! I love Higgins and Bessy, Fanny is always good for a laugh too! There are times when I love the characters and other times when I was frustrated with them.

One this that struck me about this book was how much religion is talked about in it. I don't agree with the theology, but is makes me think about what I believe. The times when religion is talked about the most is when Margaret is with Bessy.

One thing that I absolutely love about this book is how you have two different views and how they both have good points, but there needs to be a different solution that what the two different views think. They both have to work together. At least that is how I see it, it makes me think about the different problems going on between the upper class and the lower class, masters and workers. It makes me think and I like that.

The other thing I like is how the book shows the difference between the north and the south at that time. I found it interesting to see how people thought differently in the north than in the south. The way they deal with things is different too. The other think is that I Have not read to many books about the industrial time in England so that made it all the more interesting. I sometimes get confused with the time line.

This is a book I would recommend people to read. It has a wonderful story line, and a timeless story that you will remember for ever. It was a a good enough story that the BBC made a mini series out of it. :)



  1. This is one of my favourite books as well! :D I love Elizabeth Gaskell.

  2. Upon your recommendation, I have procured a copy, but not read it yet. This makes me want to read it even more!

  3. @Miss Gwenea: I love this book is one of my favorites too! :) I enjoy her writing.

    @Mimi: I am really quite flattered that you would read a book that I recommended! I hope you enjoy is as much as I do!! :)