This tender story of parents, children and step-children, mistakes and secrets was Elizabeth Gaskell's last novel and is considered her masterpiece.
Set in the watchful society of Hollingford, this is a warm tale of love and longing. Molly Gibson is the spirited, loyal daughter of the local doctor. Their peaceful close-knit home is turned upside down when Molly's father decides to remarry. Whilst Molly struggles to adjust to her snobbish stepmother, she forms a close relationship with her glamorous new stepsister Cynthia. The strength of this friendship is soon tested as their lives become entwined with Squire Hamley and his two sons.
‘Gaskell's work will always be one of the adornments of liberal Britain’ Guardian
She was a pioneer, multi-tasking mother... Gaskell's work will always be one of the adornments of liberal Britain
People who read her always come away surprised at how modern she sounds. You don't have to think yourself into her century in order to sympathise, since her guiding principle was no more or less than a sense of practical, day-today justice, totally outside the abiding gentleman-lady-peasant-donkey-peasant's wife hierarchy which surrounded her
Pah! to Dickens. Eat your heart out, Little Nell. That Elizabeth Gaskell could write a death scene to make your socks melt