Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cranford Read-Along - Part 2

The June Cranford Read-Along has been hosted by Allie at A Literary Odyssey.

Continuing the tale of the lives of the ladies of Cranford.
Part 1 - Chapters 1-8
Part 2 - Chapters 9-16

I must give a mention to my library copy of Cranford which unfortunately I haven't been able to find an image of. It's the The Great Writers Library edition and is a fascimile of the book as it was published in 1911 with a faux leather cover , the title and author in gold lettering and a charming Victorian print in the centre. Even the pages and font have a wonderful old feel to them and it all added to this delightful reading experience.

This second part of the book had more continuity of story connecting the chapters. It begins with the arrival of the foreign Signor Brunoni , a travelling conjuror, to the village. This seemingly random event will have far reaching consequences, particularly for Miss Matty, and lead to a very happy ending.

I cannot spoil the pleasure for other readers with details but Cranford life goes on with both large and small happenings and all of them providing a great deal of entertainment.
And finally I discover the narrator is one Miss Mary Smith.

But, as for most people I imagine, it is Miss Matty and the poignancy of her love story that will stay with me.
That this sweet lady who thinks of herself as 'only good enough for ordinary things' and who dearly loves little children should have been denied the happiness of marriage I found heartbreaking.

I'm also a bit sad it's all over having come to be very fond of all the ladies and their individual quirks and foibles. I now have to decide whether I want to see them come to life on the screen or to hold on to the images I have in my head ?

Thank you Allie - this is a book that for so long has had a permanent place on the 'one day I'll read this' list and probably would have stayed there forever if not for the Read-Along. This was my first experience of a read-along and I've enjoyed it immensely.


  1. Miss Matty was so wonderful. She's really what made the book come alive for me.

  2. I too would never have read this book if it was not for Allie. I also enjoyed it, especially how the second half pulls the story together and to get to know Miss Matty with much more detail. Even though she didn't get married, I felt it was so great that Peter came back, he was so important to her. Allies Mom

  3. I don't know how I missed this readalong. I would have seriously considered reading along!