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Emily Eden is a neglected 19th century writer. Although not of the standard of Jane Austen, this book is nevertheless worth listening to. It is a gentle story with some humour included. At times I found the reader irritating - but not so much as to spoil my enjoyment of the book. In proof of this, I have just purchased Peter Joyce's version of the 'sister' book - The Semi-Detached House.
Where does The Semi - Attached Couple rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
An enjoyable witty read. The book is about a young wealthy couple; who like many of their time marry without knowing much about each other. We follow them and their friends, relations, and servants through their first year of a rocky marriage. Much of the story is viewed through the eyes of their neighbors, Mrs. Douglas and Miss Eliza Douglas. Imagine Jane Austen's books with politics thrown in and you get the idea of the book.
Emily Eden wrote two books in the mid 1800's, this one and a Semi-Detached House. Eden's favorite author was Jane Austen and it shows. A sense of humor and great secondary characters make this book stand out. Eden's plots are more contrived than Austen's but her wit makes her a worthy successor. Eden provides more awareness of the outside world and politics than Austen which I found intriguing. There is a detailed description of a election in a small town which is funny and fascinating and well worth reading the book for.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Mrs Douglas is a wonderful character! In Emily Eden's words: "People may go on talking for ever of the jealousies of pretty women; but for real genuine, hard-working envy there is nothing like an ugly woman with a taste for admiration." In general, Eden does a great job with the unlikable characters.
Would you listen to another book narrated by Peter Joyce?
Peter Joyce was an odd choice for this book. He did the older characters, both male and female, very well. But he did not do young people well and the book is populated with primarily young characters. He is particularly bad at young women and so I would have preferred a woman narrator since we so often look through the eyes of Eliza Douglas, a naive girl. His young men are too gruff or whiny. I am glad I read the book before listening to it and could picture the characters in my mind rather than in his voice.
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