I love it when I get completely blown away by my own prejudices 🙂 A prejudice I had no idea I had was that all books in ‘Penguin Classic Yellow edged cover with dark picture’ books are…. boring.
I wonder where I got that from. Actually I know. I was given Hard Times to read as part of S Level preparation; I didn’t like the first chapter (actually, I didn’t like the TV adaptation either) and a assigned all books with that style of cover to the *Boring Book Archive*
Sometimes I wonder when exactly I am going to get over my school created, small minded Merry, issues. 🙄 I shall link to a copy with a different cover, so I don’t pass my prejudices on 😉 Washington Square (Wordsworth Classics)
This book was the local library reading club book for the month; I ended up not being able to go but I’m so glad I got to read the book and feeling I really had to give it a good try was a great motivation for that. What seemed at first to be a story that tripped dangerously close to the life in a different continent of Fanny from Mansfield Park, turned into something quite different. The book focuses on the ill-advised love affair of a young American woman and a cad; honestly, my head drew a picture of “The Rake” in old fashioned Happy Family packs and that was exactly what he was like. The aunt, a meddlesome woman who really needed a war to fold bandages for, was a perfect mixture of far too many relatives I can think of from my own and other peoples families (I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her) while the Father was, I think, just exactly how parents can too easily be and a cautionary tale for it.
Catherine, the main character, is quietly revealed. She’s not what you think, nor is she quite what she thinks and most importantly, she is not the person her aunt and father think. It is an odd story, because how it turns out is both sad and positive, an illustration of women who chose their path in the days that were one step behind emancipation. All of them are a joy to be in the company of and the elegance of the description of life in New York when Fifth Avenue was just a fairly nice road, is stunning.
Now I’ve got Henry James and James Joyce sorted out, and discovered that boring covers do not equal boring reads on all occasions, I’m going to push at my boundaries and find a few more quiet classics. It was most definitely time with a book well spent and I’m still blushing at having wrinkled my nose when I first thought about reading it.