Customer Reviews for

Wives and Daughters (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Average Rating 4
( 180 )
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(84)

4 Star

(52)

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(20)

2 Star

(12)

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(12)

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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 January 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    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 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!

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful

    Wow! Elizabeth Gaskell is able to create a beautifully written, peaceful novel about life in a small English town. Though not incredibly suspenseful, the story is a page turner somehow. Each scene is beautifully painted with words, and each character is not only well crafted but has a sense of finish so that the reader can fully grasp and relate to the story. I never thought that a book about life in a small town in the 1800's would be so satisfying. I definitely recommend this for those readers who need a book that's more entertaining than meaningful and for those who want to quietly curl up and read a pleasant classic.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2005

    gives Austen a run for her money

    This is an exquisite and delicate story that, at the same time, incorporates that delicious feeling of intrigue found in so many of the great English writers of the 19th c. I have read them all and actually found it far more readable and enjoyable than much of Austen or Eliot. These characters are sketched entirely by their own language and the reactions of others, rather than the author's side pronouncements. The absence of a last installment (the book originally was published as a serial) is a very minor drawback because you can easily guess exactly what will happen. The characters are so finely drawn that you will recognize yourself and others in their faults, flaws and sincere attempts to be good people. The language is so readable and so often amusing, while foregoing some of the ostentation that makes me sometimes want to skip entire pages of Victorian novels. If you have any interest in 19th c English novels, you must read this.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

    Great book!

    My Nook was out of commission so I had to read a "real book" and I had bought this book a few years ago so I started it and read it nonstop for a few days until I finished it. It was so good! Even though a little tedious at times, it really was a wonderful glimpse into that period of time. I loved the characters and especially Molly and Cynthia. Wish it had been completed but it still was a great novel. Can't wait to find the PBS version of it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    Captivating!!

    What I love about this book is how it portrays in all the charecters diferent types of love. Molly's simple, innocent love, Roger's self-sacrificing love.On a whole think this is one of Gaskels best ones ever!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    This is a fabulous book

    This book may have been written in Victorian England but the topic is modern. Elizabeth Gaskell is a fabulous writer. I highly recommend this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Absolutely charming.

    Comparable to the great Jane Austen, in my own humble opinion.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011

    Excellent!

    Gaskell rightfully subtitled this novel "an everyday story", and with materials most authors would make trivial and wearying, Gaskell created of one the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. Gaskell has a wonderful way of not directly describing the characters, but lets their personalities play out through a series of small and seemingly trivial events and conversations. But she has a way of making the most trivial conversations seem fascinating. Though far more central than the other her other short novel I've read, Cranford, it still reads like a series of small vignettes, link together by only the characters. And I found all the characters pretty well developed and complex. I'm not particularly sensitive, but I really felt for most of the characters. And many of the characters are legitimately funny and entertaining (Mrs. Gibson in particular pompous idiot, which are always entertaining in Victorian fiction. Strangely, Gaskell died before she wrote the last chapter, but I think the place where the book ends leaves it open, and may be a little better than the obvious ending she was planning. Overall, I found this book extremely fulfilling, and far more complete than most novels that authors actually finish.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2011

    My heart is broken...

    I completely ADORE this WONDERFUL story and was SO upset when it just stopped so suddenly. Upon further research I did find out she was unable to do the ending as she did die before she could finish it. While my heart is broken, I am glad I was able to see where it was headed. I wanted to read about Roger being able to say what was in his heart, and what happens to him the next 6 months on his expedition in Africa... But am glad that we are able to read such an amazing work as this. The movie wraps it up very well, and I am glad to have that comfort as I am unable to see the sweet tender final chapter unfold.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2011

    One of the best books I've ever read!!!!

    I loved this book...it is one of my all-time favorites.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Wonderful Classic - but no ending!

    I really enjoyed reading this, I've been trying to find works similar to Austen and my other favorite authors and this is very similar in style. That being said, I wish someone would have told me before I started that there is no ending to this novel! Mrs. Gaskell died before the novel was finished, so it ends in an abrupt and unsatisfying way. I'm going to watch the BBC miniseries now and hope that gives me some closure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    Fantastic

    I reccomend this book because it tells an intricately woven and elaborate story of love, heartbreak, and death. It is not too dramatic and has more substance than newer novels. If you enjoy classics or are interested in a book- read it. Wives and Daughters is a wonderful novel which shows that marriage and love are two very different things. The book also shows that beauty on the outside can cover ugliness of the heart on thee inside.I loved reading Wives and Daughters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2011

    truly Classic

    Wives and Daughters is one of my favorite novels of all time. I haven't read it in years, but I just purchased it for the Nook and can't wait to immerse myself in its intrigue. Molly Gibson is calling!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2010

    Great Book!

    Wives and Daughters is such a lovable book. There is not much to attract in the very beginning but it catches your attention as the story moves on. I love the relationship the stepsisters have and the frustration you feel for the love triangle. Overall it is a great buy and the only regret you feel in the end is that it was unfinished.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    Great Price and Quality

    I am glad purchased the book as it is a classic and worth reading. Surprised about quality of paperback, great font, helpful notes and commentary.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2007

    Excellent Tale

    As an English major, I love stories. Many are dull, but this is a delightful tale on the level of 'Little Women.' Its perfectly charming and Clair and Molly are sweet. The views of the Dr. are comical and although it is not finished, in the habit of most Victorian novels, you can tell where it will end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2004

    Gaskell's brilliance

    In this amazing novel, Elizabeth Gaskell has written an antithesis to all the Gothic novels being produced during this era. Molly is incredibly realistic and down to earth, and each character is developed so fully that it might leave some doubt as to whether these characters are purely fictional. An amazing read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2002

    Capitivating

    It's the kind of book that takes you away, that you get so wrapped into the charater's lives that you compltely forget about what's going on in your own life. It protrays the stuggles and triumphs that women face everday.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2001

    Wonderful Book

    Hi, I just recently finished Wives and Daughters and I love it! It is about a girl named Molly who puts everyone besides herself first. Molly Gibson keeps all of her wishes secret. It is beautifully written and scandalous. You can see a soap opera forming while you read. I hope everyone who reads this review decides to buy the book for they are in for a fantastic reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2001

    Classic and Simple

    I found this book very good. It reminds me of books by Jane Austen. Molly is a loveable character and you find yourself becoming part of the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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