Author of AGAINST A DARKENING SKY, THE EMPTY ROOM, OUR DAILY BREAD, and others. Find out more at www.LaurenBDavis.com. I read as if my sanity depended upon it.. . . oh, wait, it does! Snort.
Elizabeth Gaskell, the Victorian novelist, is perhaps best known for her works, CRANFORD, NORTH AND SOUTH and WIVES AND DAUGHTERS. Certainly THE MOORLAND COTTAGE is a lesser work, written early in her career.
The novella-length melodrama centers around the power of goodness in the face of all sorts of sins, 'goodness' being rather obviously personified by Maggie, the devoted daughter to a widowed mother who openly favors her wastrel son; the long-suffering sister to that same brother.
Love with a young man above her class complicates life with all the expected stones in the road. The ending is predictable and sentimental.
But still, but still. . . There are some days when a gentle book -- even a slightly clumsy one -- about people trying to do the right thing for the right reasons, written with that lovely Victorian sensibility, is the perfect thing. It's lovely to be reminded of the power of goodness.
If you are new to Gaskell, begin with CRANFORD. If you're already a fan, this is a sweet diversion.