Books - Review

The Old Wives' TaleThe story of Sophia and Constance who grow up in 19th Century Burslem, daughters of Mr & Mrs Baines, the middle class owners of a drapers shop on the town square. Sophia runs away with a travelling salesman, goes with him to Paris and forces him to marry her, although that doesn't stop him abandoning her when the money runs out. Sophia works hard though, lives through the Siege of Paris (1870), and makes a financial success of herself. Back home Constance follows the path her parents might have expected; marriage, son, taking on the shop. The women meet up again late in life, and share the final part of their lives.
by Arnold Bennett
Score: 7
Published: 1908
Read: September 4th 2012


John said

This was quite good, great story in Paris as we follow Sophia's life and contrast it with Constance's. Felt like a bit of a slog towards the end though.

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