(e)Book Read! Mary Barton (CP 2011)
First sentence: “There are some fields near Manchester, well-known to the inhabitants as ‘Green Heys Fields’, though which runs a public footpath to a little village about two miles distant.”
P. 99: “It’s not to be forgotten, or forgiven either, by me or many another; but I canna tell of our down-casting just as a piece of London news.”
Last sentence: “‘Dear Job Legh!’, said Mary, softly and seriously.”
This was the first novel by Gaskell that I read and I really liked it. From what I learned about the author, she knew what she wrote about and that shows in the story. You are drawn into it almost immediately and the characters become like real people.
Although this is a story about poverty, illness and disease, it is also, and most of all, about friendship, love and hope. Amazing to see what people are capable of in the most despairing circumstances.