28 February 2012

Life in a Lancashire Mill Town

Hardcover, 374 pages
Published 1886 (originally 1879)
Acquired January 2012

Read February 2012
by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Haworth's never engages. It's not that it doesn't have any likeable characters (they're in short supply, but many a novel has got by without any), it's that it lacks any interesting characters. There's a mill owner who worked his way up from being a hand and dotes on his mother, there's an American whose father spent his life working on an unspecified invention who feels compelled to finish the work, there's a comedy poor old lady, there's some other people too, I guess. The interesting character is Miss Ffrench, daughter of the mill owner's partner, who has been raised to do what is economical, even in choosing a spouse (or rather, her father choosing her a spouse), but seems to feel some moral conflict-- it's hard to tell. She does something nice for someone at one point, but it doesn't stick. It's also hard to tell who the hero actually gets together with, but because it's so hard to care, I didn't try to find out very much.

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