Gaskell - "Wives and daughters"
"Wives and daughters" is the latest novel written by the English author Elizabeth Gaskell. The author failed to write the last chapter because she died before being able to finish it, but the publisher wrote it thanks to the notes left by Elizabeth Gaskell.
The story is set in the countryside: the village of Hollingford is surrounded by a simple landscape that frames the story and makes it the ideal place for a narration of the events that intertwine love, friendship and true feelings.
The novel tells the everyday life of the inhabitants of Hollingford and in particular the doctor of the country Mr. Gibson who lives with his daughter Molly, the author tells us a slice of life where we find a small country with its traditions, with its contradictions and its diversity.
The everyday life of this small village is described in an exemplary way because the various aspects of everyday life are described in a simple way, but always putting before the value of the family, of the love that can only be found in it.
At the center of the story are the family relationships, which are a particularly important theme for the author.
Molly is a simple girl, an orphan mother, good and is very close to his father as it is the only affection he has known in his young life. The father decides to remarry with Mrs. Clare Kirkpatrick, a widow who also has a daughter Cynthia, who is the same age as Molly.
Mr. Gibson believes he has made the right decision and that his daughter serves a maternal figure, since he is going through a difficult age and so Clare can be a guide, a help in dealing with this delicate period.
Molly is disturbed and also confused by this change but finds comfort in the friendship with Cynthia, the two girls are different, both physically and characteristically but they love each other, they know each other and among them comes a sincere affection.
Cynthia is a very modern and unconventional character, she has a lot of charm and her beauty does not go unnoticed especially with male characters, she grew up in France, free from her mother and in that new family she finds the love she needed and was looking for. The girl certainly suffers from the lack of affection of the mother and therefore is very voluble in feelings and can not establish a deep connection with anyone.
Mrs. Clare Gibson is a selfish woman, who thinks only of herself, frivolous, who can not feel maternal feelings for Cynthia. A character who, however, does not appear to be bad, but only light, superficial and capricious, but transmits to the reader only a great emptiness.
Molly and Cynthia feel sincere affection, but when love comes into play, can this compromise their relationship and break the balance that the two had created?
But as happens in many Gaskell novels, the characters are not completely good or bad and here there is absolutely no room for jealousy, anger and rancor, but only for the sincere and profound feelings of true friendship and "sisterhood".
The style of the author is fluent and highly sought after, you can read despite two hundred years, the story and the characters are very realistic and consistent throughout history.