In Master of the Mill Mrs. Hale dies before the family arrives in Milton and they are in a much more impoverished situation than they are in the BBC series upon which this book is based on.
The writing in this book is good and I believe the author has the potential to write a book that could have been to my liking, but unfortunately that was not the case with Master of the Mill. In it, we find a sexualized version of John Thornton, which would not have been as bad if it had not changed his entire personality. In this book Mr. Thornton keeps a mistress to answer to his sexual urges and is a self-confident man who believes he will conquer Margaret, who in turn is also a pale comparison to the character Ms. Gaskell created.
In this book Margaret also has a stubborn and independent nature, but that leads her to start working at Malborough Mills disguised as a lower class lass.
As mentioned earlier, Margaret and Mr. Hale are poorer than in the original novel and end up living in the Princeton district. That is a little hard to believe because I do not believe Mr. Thornton would feel so fascinated by a lass living in the Princeton district and working at his mill.
This book has several sex scenes, including Margaret’s first time with Mr. Thornton which is very hot for modern standards but is completely wrong for the time it is set. It is also completely out of character because I don’t believe that either Mr. Thornton or Miss Hale would have their first time in such circumstances, not to mention that it is everything but romantic which is how I would imagine their first time. The scene was good if we were reading a modern romance, but I can’t accept that in a Victorian novel.
Henry is the villan in this book and even if I can see him as a rival to Mr. Thornton, I think he was also completely out of character with all the ville things he did. He was an evil and manipulative person who would consider only his own interests and I don’t believe that is how Gaskell wanted to portray him.
I believe readers more interested in a steamy novel, and who do not need to see the North and South characters in it, may enjoy this book as the writing is good and the story itself has some interest. It is fast paced and can be read in one day, but unfortunately it is not my cup of tea. I was looking for an interesting variation of North and South and I did not find that in this book.
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