Friday, February 20, 2009

A Woman of Means

Current book: The French Lieutenant's Woman
Pages read: 12-26

Well, I'm taking it slow, but
there're a couple reasons for that. Today I had to give blood and also organize all of the music on my computer, including naming unidentified files by listening to them, so that took a while. Also, I honestly don't want to read this book any faster than I have to; that's how good it is. I'm really enjoying the language and the intricacy of the characterization Fowles is able to achieve. In addition to those, though, I'm 26 pages in and already intrigued by the plot.

In addition to Charles and
Ernestina, we've also met Mrs. Poulteney, a local widow who's a complete tyrant to her servants, extremely strict in all matters of housekeeping, and generally concerned with the affairs and religious faith of everyone around her, including unrelated inhabitants of her town (it's called Lyme Regis, just for future reference). Ok, so, it turns out that Mrs. Poulteney doesn't feel as though she's presenting a charitable enough front to agree with her religious leanings, and so she wants to take on a charity case to assuage her feelings of guilt (and make everyone remark about how wonderfully generous she is, of course). Guess who the charity case is going to be?

If you said the French lieutenant's woman, you got it in one. The vicar tells Mrs.
Poulteney, and therefore the reader, her sad story: she fell in love with a shipwrecked French lieutenant, ran away with him expecting to be married, and is still awaiting his promised return. She's a former governess who's been living off her savings, but is now penniless, hence her agreement to live with Mrs. Poulteney. And that's where we are. There should be some interesting developments once Mrs. Poulteney (and the rest of us) find out the whole story. It's obvious there's lots more to it than what we've been told so far.

I'll be reading more tomorrow, but I'm trying to make it last, so don't expect hundreds of pages or anything. Also, the next book is Atlas Shrugged. Blech.

1 comment:

  1. I really LIKED Atlas. Have you read it before? It's long, there's no doubt about that, but it's also really good. I haven't read The French Lieutenant's Woman in forever. Might actually check it out and reread it based on your unbridled (for you) enthusiasm.



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