Saturday, February 10, 2018

My Victorian Year #6

This week I've read in three Victorian novels: Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell, Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope and The Ladies' Paradise by Emile Zola.

Mary Barton is getting to the "good part." I don't know that that is fair to say really. But the book is part murder-mystery, and the murder has finally happened. It is a bit unusual in that most mysteries the murder occurs sooner rather than later. I have about eighteen or nineteen chapters left of this one. I'm hoping to finish it this month. 

Quotes from Mary Barton:
As the man who has had his taste educated to love reading, falls devouringly upon books after a long abstinence, so these poor fellows, whose tastes had been left to educate themselves into a liking for tobacco, beer, and similar gratifications, gleamed up at the proposal of the London delegate. Tobacco and drink deaden the pangs of hunger, and make one forget the miserable home, the desolate future.
"Oh! much what all doctors say: he puts a fence on this side, and a fence on that, for fear he should be caught tripping in his judgment.

Orley Farm. I am enjoying it. But it is like a soap opera. There are at least a dozen characters--if not twice that--and there are four or five "main" stories all going at once. I enjoy it for the journey; I haven't decided where the actual destination is.


Quotes from Orley Farm:
We can do nothing by interference. Remember the old saying, You cannot touch pitch without being defiled.
When yet has there been no crisis present to a man who has wanted an excuse?—
It could not be expected that she should sympathise with generalities for ever.
The Ladies' Paradise. Emile Zola. I have this on inter-library loan. I wanted to read it because I really enjoyed watching the first season of the BBC adaptation. I am saving the second season until I've read the book. Plus it helps that the Olympics have started. There are definite differences of course. The original was set in Paris and not London. I'm three or four chapters into this one. It is told through multiple points of view, which is nice for a change. 



© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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