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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Having read half of these stories in other collections, I only read the four from this one that were new to me. 'Bessy's Troubles at Home' revolve around a fatherless family of six children and an ailing mother. When the mother is sent - on doctor's advice - to Southport for three weeks, fifteen-year-old Bessy is left in charge of the house. She has two older brothers who have to work. The other three are younger than Bessy. Her troubles emerge from her plans to please everyone in ways that suit *her* rather than appealing to her siblings. This is a story about caring for others and being selfless. 'Libbie Marsh's Three Eras' is about a plain-looking orphan girl who moves into a family home as their lodger. She notices a young lad living in the house opposite, suffering with some sort of illness. The lonely girl makes up her mind to befriend the boy. 'Hand in Heart' covers two years of Tom Fketcher's life, beginning when he's eight years old. His loving mother teaches him to be kind towards others. Tom takes this advice to heart and makes it his mission in life to be as helpful and humble as he can. 'Christmas Storms & Sunshine' features two couples who live close to each other and do not get along well. An incident with a cat causes animosity between the two women. It takes a more serious incident concerning one of the couples' baby to uncover the true nature of the two rival wives. Of the other four tales that I read some time ago, I remember that 'The Grey Woman' was one of Mrs Gaskell's most original works, featuring two women donning disguises and going on the run from a dangerous husband. 'Disappearances' is probably one of Mrs Gaskell's least interesting works - in my opinion - and I remember little about it. 'Curious if True' features some sort of party where all guests have featured as characters in various nursery rhymes. 'Six Weeks at Heppenheim' - can't remember much about this one, other than it features a gentleman staying at an inn (I think) for six weeks (of course), owing to him being ill or injured.
Review: The Grey Woman, And Other TalesUser Review - Goodreads
These stories were varied. The Grey Woman was probably the best of them. It was well developed and interesting. Some of the others reminded me of the writings of Louisa May Alcott - sweet and idealistic.