Category Archives: reading

Master of the Mill by Cate Toward – a retelling of North and South

As part of the celebration of North and South I am contributing my review of Master of the Mill by Cate Toward.

Caty and I had a chat awhile back discussing her take on Thornton.

I started reading this story when it was first serialized and the way she wrote Thornton had me visualizing Armitage as Guy of Gisborne.
When it was published last January I was able to read it all the way through and appreciate her take on the story.

We find ourselves at the beginning of this story in Northern Milton. Margaret has lost her mother, Mr. Hale his wife and they are in dire straits due to the loss of Mrs. Hale’s annuity. Nevertheless Margaret is determined to supplement their income instead of relying on relatives.  Mr. Bell had suggested Milton but left for the West Indies upon their arrival.

 

This is the North and South that will shock Mrs. Gaskell

“what are you doin’ here?”

This story has the infamous incident of The Master beating a worker portrayed in the 2004 BBC adaptation written by screen writer Sandy Welch presumably to advance the plot and make the instant dislike of Margaret clear. And of course Margaret challenges him, dislikes him instantly but recognizes an odd sensation she can’t place …

He looked like the Angel Gabriel, dressed in black, tall, commanding, powerful, ready.” from Ch 1

 

This is the North and South where Mr. Thornton isn’t a virgin nor a monk!

We meet Thornton in a liaison with Lydia Slickson, the renamed Ann Latimer from the adaptation, written in for plot purposes. Our master has found a way to blow off his stress 🙂

He looked critically at her evaluating the pleasure she offered against the time wasted away from his work.” Ch 2

 

This is the North and South where Margaret gets to work in the mill, … under cover 😉

Margaret decides it isn’t below her to find quarters amongst the mill workers and she becomes rapidly friends with Bessie as neighbor and companion. It’s Bessie who suggests it could be done for her to work without the master taking notice.

To get one over on a master, tis a fine joke. Provided ‘e don’t take offence if all is discovered.” Ch 4

 

This is the North and South where there is a ball!

A ball!! Who doesn’t love a ball?

 

 

You dance well, sir” He laughed, raised an eyebrow and leaned in to her, whispering, “I have not stood upon your toes yet, I count that a small victory against nature.” Ch 9

 

 

This is the North and South where we have intrigue!

 

Because I don’t want to be any more spoilery you’ll have to read it but I thought it a clever even if familiar twist.

What makes this a fun read, is when the imagery of the adaptation comes in my mind. I certainly recognize some scenes and lines but sometimes the context is different.

Caty’s authentic use of the workers dialect gives the story weight. I only wished we had more back story in setting up Thornton differently as most of us know him or making Margaret’s circumstances slightly more believable.

I encourage you to follow Caty’s writing adventures on Wattpad , her current work in progress, While Christ and His Angels Slept, a Sparrow Sang.  Occasionally she tweets as well.

While Christ and His Angels Slept, a Sparrow Sang.

I hope one day she will publish Ricky Deeming’s story The Road


Fall into Splendour or collective ReAding

“Five hundred years after he died on the field of battle, Richard is still a figure of controversy and his story still fascinates and casts a spell. Betrayed in life by his allies, Richard was betrayed in death by history. Leaving no heir, his reputation was like his corps: left to his enemies, mutilated beyond recognition.

Filled with the sights and sounds of battle, the customs and lore of daily life, the rigors and risks of Court politics, the passions and infidelities of the high-born, and the touching concerns of very real men and women, The Sunne in Splendour brings to life this gifted man whose greatest sin, perhaps, was that he held principles too firm for the times he lived in and loved too deeply to survive love’s loss.” thus ends the jacket of the book.

The Sunne in Splendour is one of those epic novels the size of a dictionary and I bought the e-book about two years ago after I read the Vulpes Libris interview.

Given that historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, the fact that I’ve started it more than once without finishing it, is no reflection of the book but rather of mine, noticable in my blog title 🙂

Richard III has been on our minds with King Richard Week behind us and the current Greyfriars Project in Leicester, UK.

I hope everyone has signed the petition in support of Richard Armitage’s effort of exploring a more historically accurate portrayal of King Richard III of England.

Heidi proposed the idea to read it all together using the #ArmitageWatch concept, how could I resist!

Richard III Bloggers will be cheering us on with fun activities

If you blog; consider yourself invited to post your thoughts & host those readers who connect via blogs.

We can do this!!

In hopes of making an enjoyable reading experience, I carefully pondered a schedule that would allow for progress in a timely manner with breaks for Thanksgiving (1 wk) and the Holiday’s (2 wks) allowing time for family obligations or catch up time for those who need it.

The end result is 5 chapters a week which brings our last discussion on Sunday February 24th!

The first 5 chapters contain the most pages; 80, the remainder are around 60 pg of reading per week, 10 pg a day give or take.

This requires a commitment but a very attainable one and I hope discussion will prove to be a motivator.

I for one will certainly use it as such. 🙂

Twice in the middle of the book and back to back we’ll read 6 chapters, because of reduces chapter sizes, both are carefully indicated on the list and calendar.

For those in need of specific meeting time to chat with regards to the book, watch ArmitageWatch Blogspot

For those on Facebook : chapters will also be posted on The Institute of Armitage Studies

The King Richard Armitage site will also keep people updated

Most of the fun will happen on twitter be sure to use #RA4R3 when posting any comments during the week.

To be fair we should refrain from spoilers until the Sunday after (whenever its Sunday in your timezone)

If unfamiliar with twitter more info here

Join many ReAders this Fall with The Sunne into Splendour

*******

Sept 23rd : Chapters 1 + 5 of Book One : Edward

Sept 30th : Chapters 6 + 10

Oct 7th : Chapters 11 + 15

Oct 14th : Chapters 16 + 20

Oct 21st : Chapters 21 + 25

Oct 28th : Chapters 26 + 30

Nov 4th : Chapters 31 + 3 of Book Two : Anne

Nov 11th : Chapters 4 + 8

Nov 18th : Chapters 9 + 13

break for Thanksgiving

Don’t forget to eat and drink!

Dec 2nd : Chapters 14 + 4 of Book Three : Lord Of The North

Dec 9th : Chapters 5 + 9

Dec 16th : Chapters 10 + 15 : YES : 6 chapters

break for the Holidays

Read, Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Jan 6th : Chapters 16 + 21 : YES : 6 chapters

Jan 13th : Chapters 1 + 5 of Book Four : “Richard, By The Grace Of God…”

Jan 20th : Chapters 6 + 10

Jan 27th : Chapters 11 + 15

Feb 3rd : Chapters 16 + 20

Feb 10th : Chapters 21 + 25

Feb 17th : Chapters 26 + 32 HOMERUN

Feb 24th : Last discussion

Take a bite and you’ll get a virtual kiss from RA

Feel free to ask questions!