I've almost finished reading Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford, an immensely delightful and cozy read. This is basically a collection of stories centered around the small-town lives of Cranford's ladies. These ladies are unique and interesting because for one reason or another they haven't married and remain independent (and convinced that women are superior to men).
That makes is sound as though they are grown up Emmas - well to do ladies who govern mansions with the tips of their fingers. In fact, these lovely women are not rich at all and they spend much of their time together, sharing their lives with each other and relying on talk, tea, and card games for entertainment and sparkle. It's almost like a sisterhood, and this closeness makes them seem younger and spunkier than their actual age.
At first I was disappointed that there weren't more younger characters. As I got to know the Cranford ladies better; however, I grew to admire their spirit, humour, and loyalty. With each story, they became more and more interesting to me and I couldn't stop turning the pages.
This is a much lighter read compared to North and South and Wives and Daughters. While Gaskell always provides substance and realistic characters, there is a lot more humour and simple coziness in this book.
Gaskell remains one of my favourite authors and I can't wait to read more of her beautifully written works!