Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Challenge ended, a challenge begun

I've finished Miss Marjoribanks, the last on my challenge list for the From the Stacks reading challenge from Overdue Books. It's also first on my list for the Classics challenge from A Reader's Journal. A good start to the year; feeling as if I've accomplished something but still have lots ahead to read. As for the book...I enjoyed reading the story of a young woman whose sole purpose in life is "to be a comfort to dear Papa". Lucilla Marjoribanks is 19 when she returns to her widowed father's home from her schooling, to take on her rightful role as a leader of Carlingford society. She takes charge of her small town, arranging both social life and various marriages to her satisfaction. Most of the book covers her first year as society's new queen, while the final quarter skips ahead to the 10th year of her long reign. It is then that Lucilla's father dies, and she finally marries and changes her sphere of influence from Grange Lane in Carlingford to the village of Marchbanks, on the estate of her great-grandfather Marchbanks. (A specialty of English spelling; pronounciations that are not evident. Marjoribanks is said 'Marchbanks'. For more on my prediliction for odd English spellings see my husband's post about our bookshop name.)
This novel was originally serialized, as were many in the 19th century, and it shows, with many repetitions of plot lines and unnecessary padding to the story. But it was an amusing read, and Lucilla's masterful social machinations were entertaining. Recommended to Anglophiles everywhere.


  1. Sounds like an interesting book, Melanie. You are doing better than I am. I will just be starting my first classic today, that is, if I ever get off the internet!

    Enjoyed reading your husband's post regarding the naming of your store. I hope someday to visit Ontario. If I get to Stratford, I'll come by the bookstore.

  2. Booklogged - I'm glad you enjoyed my husband's post; he's a much more eloquent writer than I. But sadly, we've closed down our storefront, so if you do get to Stratford, you will have to come over and browse in our basement!


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