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Mariana (Persephone Classics) Paperback – December 31, 2008
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From Library Journal
Luana Ellis, Jamestown Community Coll. Lib., Olean, N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
This is a romantic novel with a not-so-perfect heroine. Mary is cute but not beautiful. She is not overly intelligent but she is good, straight and often dear and sweet. By reading this book one can glimpse a certain place and time and the things happening at the time (between the 2 World Wars).
I found the book to be enchanting and delightful. When away from the novel, I couldn't help but wonder what Mary was up to next and how it would all end for her. The author Monica Dickens, grand-daughter of Charles Dickens, is quite talented as a writer.
I highly recommend this book and hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.
Monica Dickens (a great-granddaughter of Charles) depicts Mary's maturation to adulthood with perfection. The reader sympathizes with Mary as she experiences the ups and downs of relationships and careers--experimenting with both seems to be pretty characteristic of Mary, as she grapples a bit with identity and independence. And yet, there isn't the usual amount of teenage angst that one usually finds in a novel about growing up, which I found to be very refreshing. Mary is a sweet and sometimes naïve girl, but at the same time, she's also wonderfully sarcastic towards her peers. She's hard to like at times, but in an odd way, I found myself sympathizing with her.
Even without reading the preface of the novel, one can tell that the author borrowed a lot from her own life to write this book. The tone of the book, with its triumphs and disappointments, absolutely rings true. Mariana, which takes its title from the Tennyson poem, is now the third Persephone book I've read. It's a lighthearted and lovely book, as Persephones usually are.
Monica Dickens character sketches are interesting and complete. Most of the characters are immensly likeable and believable. Mariana is essentially Mary's story about her childhood and youth and her relationship with the men in her life. There is Uncle Geoff , Grandpa, cousin Denys - the relationships of her childhood. Then there is Piere from Paris and Sam the architect -the loves of her youth.
The story is also about Mary finding her true calling but that is not something that really stays with you. As you read the book , you realize that Mary is basically not exceptional at anything. She is really a very ordinary person and I think that therein lies the appeal of the story. However, I really like my heroines to be slightly strong exceptional characters so I could not build any real fondness for Mary. But there are other things to look for - interesting characters, lovely descriptions of beautiful England, dynamics of a large family, and most importantly relating to the pain of finding yourself.
In short , its a pretty decent book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are very few books I can't get into, but in this case I read just the first few pages and the last few to see if the heroine's husband had died in a shipwreck. Read morePublished on January 27, 2013 by eagle eye
Compared to the other Persephone classics and the delightful discoveries I've made there, this is one of the least interesting. Read morePublished on November 30, 2010 by Topolino