Catherine Cooksonathon IV – The Black Candle

Loved Loved LOVED this. Like Wuthering Heights/Thorne Birds in that its a tale of two generations, the first one fucking everything up for the second, and JUST like Wuthering Heights and The Thorne Birds the first half of the novel is a billion times better than the first. So I’m just going to talk about that bit, if that’s OK, cos this book is looooong and to be honest, I skimmed the second half.

Bridget Mordaunt is the ballsy, brilliant owner of two factories and several other business interests. She is sharpe, and efficient, riding around in her breeches shocking the county, refusing to wear make up or nice clothes much to the disgust of her cousin and ward Victoria, who she has cared for since they were children.

Again, I don’t want to go into the entire plot because its a little complicated and also, I would recommend you reading this book. One thing though, I did develop a crush on a literary character, which I haven’t done for a veeeery long time, in the form of Douglas Filmore. A wiry, strong, artistic, clever, liberal thinking, sensitive romantic Northerner type? Oh go on then, if you must…

I am LOVING this challenge, even though I’m massively behind, because the books are so different. I’ve heard so many people complain Cookson’s books are all the same but thats clearly bullshit, so far I’ve read books ranging from 1850-1970s and the only thing that connects them is the themes of family, and that could be applied to any author. I cannot believe I’ve never read Cookson before, and unlike last year’s Steelathon, I haven’t wanted to throw the book or the characters accross the room. I’d even go as far to say that Cookson is a wee bit of a feminist writer (though sure she’d disagree) in that her books show the need for equality of the sexes. Bridget Mordaunt is a bit of a hero, and I’ll be def doing a ‘fictional character special’ on her in the future.


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