Welcome to the first review of the year!!! 2020 has started out to be an excellent reading year at this point. I participated in #ladiesfirst20 again this year. For my first book of the year I read Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It was included in a new edition from Penguin Classics Women’s series. Which I am totally here for. In this edition there are poems and other short stories from Gilman. Many of which I hadn’t read before, and I am so glad that I have. A BIG Thank you to Penguin Classics for sending me a review copy!! This review is going to cover Herland specifically.
Synopsis: Three men end up in a isolated country which has no men.
What I liked: What can I say. It is Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I love her writing style. The pacing of the story was a bit slower then what I expected but the build up was perfect. I really enjoyed the slower pace it allowed me to immerse myself in the story and the characters. It wasn’t really horror but some of the themes within the story are horror adjacent. I really enjoyed Gilman’s characterizations. She took three different types of men (which she must have known) and wrote them so well. The poetry and the other short stories are amazing.
What I didn’t like: There was nothing that I didn’t like about this book.
Star Rating: 5 Stars
My thoughts: This was the perfect book to start off the New Year. I had read The Yellow Wall-Paper multiple times. There are things that I notice every time I read it. I am pretty sure that Herland is going to be one of those stories as well. What I found truly interesting here was the how the women evolved without having men around. I think for the stories time it was subversive. That women would be able to think beyond fashion and home would have been novel.
I don’t just read horror. I read a lot of different genres. Over the weekend I really needed to read something that scratched that classics itch after reading Wuthering Heights with Emil, Jen and Tracy. I had watched The Jane Austen Bookclub a few different times in the last couple of weeks. I really wanted to read something that felt like a warm blanket. It has been a trying month to say the least. As I have read most of Jane Austen’s books I wanted to read a Austen book that I hadn’t read yet. I hadn’t read Emma or Persuasion so I flipped a coin and Persuasion won. Honestly, I think it is one of her best.
Synopsis: Two people who at one time had loved each other have to persuade themselves to get back together after a either year separation.
Things I liked: I really enjoyed the plot of the story. It is really a Austen special….people that love each other but have to convince themselves that they do. She has played with that theme in many of her books. Personally, I think that she has dealt with this theme in Persuasion much better than in any of her other works. As with all of Austen’s books the language is beautiful and the characters are so well written that you either like the characters or you don’t.
Things I didn’t like: There was nothing about the book that I didn’t like.
Star Rating: 5 Stars
My Thoughts: Austen had many progressive thoughts as a women in the 1800s. Personally, I these progressive thoughts about class and wealth are dealt with in a more refined manner in Persuasion. Austen uses some very similar characters in each of her books. I always wonder how much of Austen is woven into each character. The interesting thing about Persuasion is that it is really drama driven. Once you get past the normal character building that Austen does in the beginning of the novel it is constant drama.