Tuesday 23 September 2014

September Reading Challenge: The Man Between by Amelia E Barr Review

The Man Between by Amelia E Barr

This month I read historic romance novel, The Man Between as dictated by my Waterstones Literary Calendar. Each month I challenge myself to read a novel or an anthology by the writer displayed on my calendar. 

I initially started the challenge as a way to introduce myself to new authors and September has been the first month that I've reviewed a book by an author I'd never actually heard of beforehand. 

The Man Between, that was published in 1906, follows the life of Ethel Rawdon, a wealthy young woman of nineteen trying to find her place in love, family and society. Based in glamorous New York, your transported back to a time when you only associated with people of your own class and marriage proposals occurred after just two meetings.

For me The Man Between felt like a mixture of The Great Gatsby (the glamour, the wealth, New York!) and Pride and Prejudice. Ethel is an incredibly strong-minded and caring woman, who reminded me a lot of Elizabeth Bennet. 

Although it reminded me of two of my favourite books, the book fell slightly short. The plot revolved around social status and class however the story was actually quite weak. The "twists and turns" that were promised were also quite predictable - however, was probably seen as quite scandalous back in 1902! 

Overall, it was an easy read and quite enjoyable. I must admit, it's always great to read old stories and be faced with such a strong female presence. It was also very well written so although I doubt I'll pick read it again, it still deserves a good write up.

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  1. Ohh, I've never heard of this book before. I'm really into classics again at the moment (I go through phases), so when I've finished battling my way through Our Mutual Friend, I may well give this a go! I do agree with you though - what was scandalous then is often quite normal now - but that brief glimpse of societal changes through history is what I really love about old books.
    Beth x

    1. Me too - it feels bizarre to have to be formally introduced by acquaintances and family members - but it was quite scandalous to meet someone any other way. It's crazy to think how quickly society moves. x


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