North and South RAL (#4)


You guys, this has been the longest-quick read EVHAR.  Seriously.  I've only been reading it on Sunday for the last three sessions (glaring at my return to work), which means it seems as though it has dragged on, but really it didn't because I was mostly suckered in while reading.

There were a fair amount of  oh no they didn't moments in the final section.  For example when dear ole Poppa Hale died so unexpectedly... well who saw that one coming?  If Gaskell was trying to foreshadow, someone should have told her that foreshadowing usually involves pages and chapters prior...NOT a evening chat with your buddy talking about mortality and what will happen to dear ole Mags only to peacefully die in one's sleep THAT night.

Oh and Edith truly annoyed the snickers out of me.  How I wanted to strangle her.  I don't know what I was thinking earlier in the novel thinking she was so pleasant.  Oh wait, now I remember.  Edith barely talked in the beginning.

I know that there are some Mag haters out there, but I still think that she's a fairly self-aware, stoic lady who truly was the foundation in her family.  Also, I loved how her character changed because of Milton's influence. And her last line?  Actually Mr. Thorton AND Mag's last line - "That man."; "That woman". Heh.

But the ending??? As Mistress Fizz tweeted, "I kept trying to get my nook app to turn the page. So confused when nothing happened."  It was all very anti-climatic.  Especially because I wanted something SWOON-WORTHY.  I realized that the end was in sight - two pages left and bit my lip in frustration because I knew that I'd have to eat some chocolate to fulfill my romantic urges.  (That sounds a wee bit dirty, doesn't it?)

Favorite part?  Ohemgee....roasted cat?  Anyone? ROASTED CAT.  It's like I felt as though The Stand and It merged in Gaskell's world.

Cheers out to Andi and Heather for hosting this RAL.  (I am suuuuuccch a readalong addict now!).


Not so shameful plug...if you haven't signed up yet for #italong (you know you wanna) scurry over here.


  1. I've never read Ms. Gaskell, though watching one of those BBC specials with Dame Judi Dench has made me want to change the error of my ways. Sounds like you had a fun and involved readalong.

  2. I'm so glad you hated Edith as well. What a ninny! And everyone keeps talking about this cat that I obviously blocked from my memory. The ending was definitely sudden and over before it began, but at least Mr. Thornton finally got some...haha!

  3. Yes to it all! Except for Mags being stoic. I felt she totally lost it when Papa H died, and that her never-ending grief was out of character.

    And nice way to work in the ITalong. I'm so proud.

  4. LOL! You and Jill are cracking me up this morning--have almost spurted out my coffee several times. And are you saying that you read this beast mostly in ONE DAY?! It was a fairly easy read but I was glad to be able to tune some of it out on audio. ;)

    LOVING IT!!! Seriously. Best.Audio.Ever.

  5. Huzzah!!! Congrats on the finishing of THE BOOK. I have not yet, but I WILL! And plug all you want. I'm SO EXCITED for the IT-along!

  6. Yay!! You finished!! I liked the ending. The whole dried flower scene. Sigh. The mini series ending is more romantic though. There's actually quite a few swoon-worthy moments. There's one where she Margaret is leaving and John says to himself "Please turn, please look back at me." Oh, I nearly died!

  7. I was so thrown off by the mention of said roasted cat that I actually had to flip to the back, reading through all the hey-in-case-you-didn't-get-it appendix material in my edition, where the editors explained how the cat demonstrated the "provincial" and superstitious nature of the folks in the south. Hmm. Creepy.

    I really enjoyed this one, but agree about the lack of foreshadowing regarding Mr. Hale's death! That caught me pretty off guard. I just thought, great -- another death for Margaret to deal with. (And then another one...)

  8. Yes to the craziness of the roasted cat. Out of nowhere. So weird.

    I too hated Edith by the end, but I didn't really like her at the beginning either. She needed a good slap. All the scheming to get Margaret to marry who she wanted her to marry.

  9. Edith, ugh. She must be the most annoying character in the whole book.

    And the roasted cat, another crazy scene.

    Don't get me wrong, I love this book, but there are some weird things going on, and convenient (and sudden) deaths.


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