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Diamond on The Shelf

I love a good old-fashioned romance novel. There’s just something about reading a great story about two people falling in love that is unparalleled. There are many great romance books out there, but one in particular is a favorite of mine. A heart-warming tale of love, passion, strife, secrets, sorrow, and joy, “North and South” is an absolute joy to read.

Written by Elizabeth Gaskell in 1855, “North and South” is a story about love across the social divide. Margaret Hale is the daughter of a parson who, by giving up his position in a Southern church, becomes a tutor in the industrial, busy, smoky Northern town of Milton. When she first arrives there, Margaret is immediately displeased as the rough, violent, poor North cannot compare to her beloved, idyllic South.

Nevertheless, she starts to develop relationships with the people of Milton for good or for ill. Obviously, the most important one is with Mr. John Thornton, a local factory owner. In the beginning, they can’t stand each other. However, his feelings start to change as he becomes more and more enamoured with Margaret. Unfortunately, things get complicated when a strike breaks out amongst the factory workers and secrets emerge that Margaret and her family would rather keep hidden.

Nobody should be put off reading this amazing classic because of the old-fashioned language and rhetoric. If anything, reading this book helps challenge you and makes you pay more attention to what is happening in the novel. Some books make it easy to simply read the book and not really see what is going on, but not this one.

“North and South” is a beautiful story about two people overcoming their differences and realizing the deep love they have for each other. It’s a refreshing change for some of the novels that I’ve been reading recently and I hope it will be the same for you readers. Even if you’re not a big fan of Victorian novels, I highly recommend that you read this book because it’s wonderful. It has a little something for everyone: mystery, history, romance, drama, action,and love.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s style of writing is beautiful; as a reader, you immediately get sucked into the world of Margaret and John. The plot is cleverly woven and intricate with lots of special details. Even though it is a slower paced book, it is never lacking for fun. As Gaskell was alive during the time period in which the book is set, the way that the characters speak and the details about the lives of the people in the Victorian era is historically accurate.

Also, BBC created a four-part mini-series based off of the book, and it’s wonderful. I may or may not have watched it all in one sitting. I admit to nothing. If you are wanting a romantic , I highly recommend reading the book and watching the mini-series.

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