Classics Challenge – October Reviews

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We are almost on time this month!  I think we are finally getting back into our rhythm now that summer is over and fall is really coming upon us.  Well, you maybe.  I live in Florida, so it’s 80s still, but we call it fall anyway.  But I digress…

This month Cocktail Phoenix and I read classics by female authors.  Let’s do CP’s review first:

Cocktail Phoenix: There certainly are a lot of classics written by female authors that I want to read and I was pondering this for a while before I finally settled on, surprisingly, another Jane Austen novel. I’ve always had a bit of a hate relation with this author, probably because I was disappointed by the first book of hers I ever read, which incidentally was also course work, so that may have played into it.

In October, I read Persuasion and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The endings always wrap up pretty quickly, which can be a tad annoying at times, but Austen has a way of depicting the characters and their struggles throughout the plot to get to that happy ending. Little misunderstandings, pride, outside influences, insecurities etc etc.

Anne was a very quiet character and she’s easily roped into things by the other characters whether she wants to or not, but from time to time she does portray a decent backbone and she certainly has a way with words when she feels inclined to portray her character.

In general, the characters weren’t as memorable as those from Pride & Prejudice, which I read earlier this year, but I was still glad to see them paired off nicely in what seemed well-fitted couples.

In the end, no matter what, there’s something to say for a nice happy ending to a book. 16036020 17029230170292421702927117029282

 

Serenity: This month I ended up choosing Agatha Christie as my female author. I liked the idea of going with a mystery book since it’s October. I initially planned to read Murder on the Orient Express, but I also ending up adding The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side. So I get double points this month!

First, I read Murder on the Orient Express. It was a re-read for me, but I hadn’t read it since I was a kid (literally. I think I was 12!), so I was interested to see if it still matched the generally good feeling that I had about it. Long story short, it did :). Poirot is traveling from his last mystery to his next, but ends up with a mystery on the very train he’s taking. He must solve the mystery using only his wits and the testimony of the passengers around him, as they have been snowed in and blocked from making it to their next stop.

There is a reason this is one of the better known Poirot books, and the set up and subsequent reveal is fascinating. Plus, as a mom you know that things are worthy of note when your kids’ TV shows allude to them (see the My Little Pony episode: Mmmystery on the Friendship Express). I enjoyed the dry humor and the bit of verbal sparring you see from time to time. As an added bonus, I found the ending very satisfying. All in all, 4 charms and I would be willing to read some more should a challenge call for it!

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My second book was The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side. This is from the Miss Marple series, and was totally new to me. I grabbed it because the series can be read in any order and I needed a #9 for a challenge. Let me tell you, I was very pleasantly surprised by this book! I had no previous knowledge of Miss Marple and had no idea what I should expect, but I loved getting into this book. Miss Marple gives an older view point without being crotchety, and she has very fun insight into the people around her. I like that she is “a student of people” rather than just the mental thinker that Poirot seems to be. She seems to solve her cases by figuring out motives and using a sort of intuitive psychology, which fits me and my personality much better than the Poirot way of just noticing all the pieces and details. I’m not much of a sleuth, honestly, but psychology is very much in my wheel house, so I identified more with Miss Marple.

All that being said, though, I was totally floored by the reveal at the end. I did NOT pick up on the clues of who was the real culprit and I enjoyed being surprised. Not sure what that says about my psychology skills, but eh, I never claimed I could solve murders, lol! Anyway, I gave this one 5 charms because it was enjoyable and kept me hooked through the end. Very good!

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Next month we will choose classics written by male authors, so come back and join us at the end of November to see our reviews on those!

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