Sunday, December 30

Book Review: The Bostonians

Title: The Bostonians

Author: Henry James

Pages: 394

Summary: A brilliant social observer who understood not only the social machinations around him but also the psychology behind them, Henry James explores the nuances of the early feminist movement in The Bostonians. Charming, traditional Southern gentleman and lawyer Basil Ransom, and his Bostonian feminist cousin, Olive Chancellor, struggle for the allegiance, and possibly affections, of Verena Tarrant. Beautiful, young, and malleable, Verena's feminist speeches attract the two cousins, each for very different reasons. One of James' most political novels, The Bostonians looks at reform movements and the do-gooder citizens who promote those agendas so clearly and with such insight that the novels speaks to readers today with as much vitality as it did up on its publication n 1886.

My Rating: 4/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Another book which just didn't work for me, and this one, I found I was often bored with it. I didn't find the appeal to the book, or to why it's considered to be such a fantastic read.

The writing was extremely well done, which was the saving factor to why I didn't give up on the book entirely. The plot was bland, and while there were some political aspects to it, I wouldn't exactly call it a political books. I didn't see a real connection to the women's movement in the book, just a handful of characters who supported it. I found the characters to be flat and underdeveloped. They didn't have much to them, and I failed to see their real connection to the women's movement. They seemed to preach about it and attend speeches, but even that felt forced to me. Although, that could be because the main focus of the book seemed to be Basil's attempt to woo Verena, who didn't seem to be anything special or worth wooing. The plot felt repetitive and it didn't connect together, and the ending was awful, although I was glad to see it.

One of my least favourite reads of the year - and not a book I'd recommend.

Would I recommend it to read: Possibly the author, but not so much the book.

What to read next: I'd try one of his other books

Challenges: 12 in 12, Fall into Reading,  Mount TBR Challenge

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