So. If you haven't read this one, what should you expect? A blending of the industrial revolution, family drama, and romance. In equal portions. For better or worse. For those truly looking to read about the industrial revolution, class differences between masters and employees, unions and strikes, economic and social issues, then the added romance may be a bonus that you may or may not want. For those who are looking for the BEST ROMANCE EVER--and you'll get it in North and South, I promise--then you may find all the talk about strikes and workers' rights a bit dry. The first time I read the novel, I admit, I wanted the romance to get started. I didn't want to wait. I didn't want to have to be patient. I wanted it to be giddy-making from start to finish. But. Now, I'm not sure I'd want it any other way. Because everything is just right just as it is. Every little detail, every little thing, adds to the whole, and makes this romance oh-so-perfect. And the more I read North and South, the more I love the "minor" characters like Nicholas Higgins and his two daughters, Bessy and Mary, and Mr. Bell.
Why should you reread this one? Well. I know that there are two types of people: those that reread and those that don't. And for those that reread, they don't need convincing as to the merits of rereading, of how most 'great' books only improve with each rereading. How rereading is the most gloriously-rich and slightly-self-indulgent but oh-so-rewarding thing you can do if you're a book lover. And this one DOES deserve a reread because there are details about John Thornton that you just might miss the first time around. And other characters as well. But specifically in terms of Margaret and John. For those that don't reread...I'm tempted to just say why?!?! or you don't know what you're missing or how could you possibly get everything a book has to offer with just one reading?!
Read North and South
- If you're a fan of the BBC Drama starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe (not to mention Brendan Coyle)
- If you're a fan of Elizabeth Gaskell (Wives & Daughters; Cranford; etc.)
- If you're a fan of Victorian literature
- If you're a fan of classics with strong romance and a bit of tragedy (this one is oh-so-bittersweet)
- If you look for strong characterization and emotion
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews