Customer Reviews for

Wives and Daughters (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Average Rating 4
( 178 )
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(83)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Oh, how I loved this book!

At first, I was a little daunted by how very long this book is, but I soon found myself grateful that I got to spend so much time in its world. This is one of the few books I started to read and just couldn't put down. Dark circles and extra cups of coffee were presen...
At first, I was a little daunted by how very long this book is, but I soon found myself grateful that I got to spend so much time in its world. This is one of the few books I started to read and just couldn't put down. Dark circles and extra cups of coffee were present many mornings because I stayed up so late reading! I suppose the thing I love most about Wives and Daughters is that it is a purely non-guilty pleasure. The characters are excellently written...virtue and sympathy reign supreme. There are no shocking twists and no, dare I say, improper scenes, and that is exactly what makes it such a good read. Although the plot is a little predictable, it's still satisfying. I can't wait until enough time passes so I can read it again!

posted by Linybean on January 9, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

Decent story marred by bad packaging.

While Gaskell is not as skillful a writer as Jane Austen, either in language or characterization, the story is still very much worth reading. Although her story is nominally a romance, the best parts of the book are the more platonic relationships. Heroine M...
While Gaskell is not as skillful a writer as Jane Austen, either in language or characterization, the story is still very much worth reading. Although her story is nominally a romance, the best parts of the book are the more platonic relationships. Heroine Molly Gibson and her doctor father have an understated, affectionate relationship, full of amusing banter and genuine development. (In fact, although a relatively minor character, Dr. Gibson fairly steals the story.) Molly's relationship with her step-sister Cynthia is interesting as well - often frustrating, but also quite touching. Next to these strong depictions, Molly's romantic intrigues are predictable and dull. I would suggest, however, buying a different version than the Barnes and Noble Classic Series. I bought this version at the store, and was very disappointed with it. For one thing, I was unaware that the footnotes would spoil parts of the book - they do. Also, I was unaware that the book doesn't have an ending. Yes, that's right, the book does NOT have an ending. The author died before writing the last few chapters. I was quite upset that the Barnes and Noble Classics edition didn't warn me of this.

posted by Anonymous on June 26, 2005

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    i recommend it

    I just finished reading Wives and Daughters, and have to say that it was a good book. Its a very long story so it does take a while to read, however, I think that it is worth the time. Im not going to waste time reciting the plot, im also not going to 'give the story away'. Im simply going to say that if you are considering reading this book, do it! I definitely enjoyed it. I will tell you though, that the author died before completing the story, however, dont listen to the other posts which tell you that they are frustrated and unsatisfied due to the lack of an ending. Dont listen! when the story cuts out, it is very clear were the author was going to go with the story. You will not be left wondering how it was going to end. Not at all! and you will love the ending. Read this book.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2005

    They need to tell you it doesn't end . . .

    There needs to be a disclaimer warning people the the author died before finishing this book! It was very frustrating! Other than that I found the book intriging and well written . . .

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Complex Characters

    I really enjoyed this book. The characters were complex and mutlifaceted. The love stories and plots were classic. It gave great details to let you imagine the scenes, the dress and the customs. This was considered one of Elizabeth Gaskell's best novels, although I didn't know it was an unfinished novel. It gets close enough to let you imagine the end but doesn't quite wrap it up. Could be good for a book club discussion.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Beautiful!

    As a long-time devotee of the novels of Charles Dickens, it surprised me that I had never heard of Elizabeth Gaskell. What a wonderful discovery! I loved this book. It had the charm and elegance of an Austen novel, with a bit of humor thrown in. I especially enjoyed the author's opinion on the differences between the sexes and between the classes. I definitely will read the other books this talented writer produced.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2006

    One of my favorite books

    Yes - it is true- the author died before the end of this book, but enough of it was finished to cleary see what was going to happen (if you need to - watch the BBC movie and they have added a good ending to it). I cannot believe that this book has not gotten as much attention as Pride and Prejudice. Runs along the same lines as the Austen books. Innocent romance with endearing characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 8, 2011

    A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

    I think I see this book differently than the other reviewers. I saw it as being rather critical of the female sex -- and rightly so. I myself am not very fond of women. I much prefer the company and companionship of men. This novel shows women at their worst--overly emotional, indecisive, manipulative, jealous of each other, irrational, concerned with the petty things in life, etc. The men of the novel are constantly being wounded by their women, and constantly complain that women are nothing but trouble and have a knack for creating problems, often over petty issues. SInce I am really not generally fond of women, my sympathies throughout this novel were on the side of the poor men who were attempting to cope with their women. Despite this, I enjoyed the book. I read it as I watched the film. The film was quite true to the book, and added a great ending ... beautifully done. Try it! read the book and follow it in the film.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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