Wednesday, December 16, 2015

North and South - Swoon!

As I mentioned in the previous post, I was finally reading North and South. Since that post was published, I've finally finished reading it. It was too good. It took me back to the good ol' days of second year in college, namely the second semester, when we studied Victorian literature. I was talking to a friend recently about this book. She's currently reading it and she mentioned that North and South is better than Pride and Prejudice. Yes! I wholeheartedly agree.

North and South deals with the Industrial Revolution, factories and strikes, the difference between classes is of course dealt with, and it has much less to do with marriage and the implied desperation of women to wed a good, rich husband. I wasn't necessarily fond of the main character, Margaret. However, Mister Thornton - swoon! There are some passages that are so good you just have to read them again and again. There's this passage describing his feelings that I read a few times because it simply couldn't be overlooked so easily:
He did her that justice, though all the time it would have been a relief to believe her utterly unworthy of his esteem. It was this that made the misery--that he passionately loved her, and thought her, even with all her faults, more lovely and more excellent than any other woman; yet he deemed her so attached to some other man, so led away by her affection for him as to violate her truthful nature. The very falsehood that stained her, was a proof how blindly she loved another--this dark, slight, elegant, handsome man--while he himself was rough, and stern, and strongly made. He lashed himself into an agony of fierce jealousy. He thought of that look, that attitude!--how he would have laid his life at her feet for such tender glances, such fond detention! He mocked at himself, for having valued the mechanical way in which she had protected him from the fury of the mob; now he had seen how soft and bewitching she looked when with a man she really loved. He remembered, point by point, the sharpness of her words--'There was not a man in all that crowd for whom she would not have done as much, far more readily than for him.' He shared with the mob, in her desire of averting bloodshed from them; but this man, this hidden lover, shared with nobody; he had looks, words, hand-cleavings, lies, concealment, all to himself.

This books has been on my to-read list for so long and I am so glad I finally read it. I kept postponing reading it because I knew it will be something I like, and I didn't want to finish it. I always do that, prolonging the inevitable finish by keeping the beginning as far in the future as possible. However, I have no regrets about this book! It was a great read towards the end of the year. Last year I re-read Gone With the Wind and it was just what I needed. This time I had this classic to prepare the end of the year. Of course, this is not the last book I'll be reading this year. I started reading The Girl On the Train and only the Star Wars episodes prevented me from reading more of it tonight. It promises to be a good end of the year, book
wise.

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