So, Cranford… It’s not full of car chases and everyone kept their shirt on. I’m not sure what to say about it. It’s cute? It has a happy ending? Hmm, maybe I’ll start with a synopsis and go from there.
The narrator, whom we later learn is named Mary, visits the town of Cranford over a few years. She’s friends with the (elderly?) ladies Matty and her sister Deborah. Mary reports on the adventures of the the two ladies (one dies fairly early on) which are of the old lady variety. They visit people, gossip, play cards, etc. It’s all very cute and cheeky. Mary is very droll and there is a bit of an edge to her reporting, though you can tell that she loves the ladies and the little village.
I don’t have a lot to say about Cranford because although I liked reading it at the time, it didn’t really stick with me. I’ve put off writing my thoughts on it and now some time has passed and not much of the book has left an impression. I wouldn’t put it up there on my favorites list but I didn’t hate it either.
The only thing that I came away with was how difficult it was in the 1800s to be a single lady of slim means. Any financial difficulty could result in a life and death situation. With no training or ability to make a living, a middle class lady was dependent on friends to see her through. I imagine many did not have the happy ending this character did in real life.
I hear the mini-series is very good. Maybe watching it will help.