North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell

I loved everything about the BBC adaptation of North and South (especially Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton!) so I was very eager to read the book by Elizabeth Gaskell. Possibly watching the series first was a mistake, as it definitely made me biased towards certain characters. I believe that I would feel very differently about the book if I had read it first.

Margaret Hale, who has spent much of her life in London is returning to her family home in Helstone. When Gaskell describes the southern hamlet that Margaret loves so much, it sounds like heaven. Unfortunately for Margaret, her stay in Helstone is not to be permanent due to her father, the local pastor, refusing to renew his vows. The family leave behind their peaceful life in Helstone and move to the grimy, dirty and noisy industrial town of Milton, where Mr. Hale plans to become a tutor. Continue reading