Following up on our earlier plan, the pseudo-romance book club held our discussion of Louisa May Alcott’s Behind a Mask (1866) last night. You can relive the entire thing on Twitter via the #MuirFTW hashtag, but here are some (spoilery!) highlights:
Following up on our discussion of The Odd Women, we’re going to tackle Louisa May Alcott’s Behind a Mask (1866). (Yes, I also own two paper copies of it.) Behind a Mask is a novella of about 40K words or a 100ish pages, which Alcott published under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard. It’s essentially a feminist retelling of Jane Eyre, but I don’t want to say much more because you don’t want to read any spoilers. Trust me: it’s tremendous fun.
I can’t find as many e-editions, but it is free at Amazon, iBooks, and Kobo (I can’t find free editions at B&N or Google Play). But fear not! At Project Gutenberg, you can download a range of file formats and then side-load them onto your device. If you want to add it on Goodreads, you can do so here.
Because it’s short, I think we can get away with a single discussion though I wouldn’t be surprised if it runs more than an hour. I propose Monday, June 27, at 9 P.M. EST. I’m not good at pithy hashtags; leave a comment if you can come up with anything good. I’ll see you then!
ETA: Just a note to say “retelling of Jane Eyre” is probably too strong. Alcott has clearly read Jane Eyre, and I feel like Behind a Mask is concerned with that book’s problem: how does a woman who is “poor, obscure, plain and little” make her way in the world? Both Jean and Jane are governesses, they both have multiple suitors, and some other scenarios occur in both. But Jean ain’t Jane, and thus her story has a different ending. I can’t wait to talk about it with you in June.
We held our final discussion on George Gissing’s The Odd Women last night. If you’re looking for them, here are my notes on part 1 and part 2. Since I know some people are still reading, I’m going to hide this under the fold. Read on at your own (spoiler) risk!
Last night we had our second of three discussions on George Gissing’s The Odd Women (my notes from part 1 are here). We talked about important topics such as:
For next week, I want to know if Everard truly changed. Will Rhoda agree to “a free union”? Will anyone find happiness? Will Virginia say, “Screw you all” and go read “feebler fiction” and drink brandy? See you for our conclusion Monday!
We also discussed the emotional connection we felt (or not) to our protagonists Monica and Rhoda. The Gissing expert, Clarissa Harwood, suggested that we’d be more engaged emotionally, and not just intellectually, in their journey next week.
So chapters 10 – 19 for next time!
Following up on my earlier post, there’s enough interest to commit to a book club on George Gissing’s The Odd Women (1893) to commence on Twitter on April 25. We chatted for about an hour starting at 9 PM EST last time; does that still work? And is #oddgals an okay hashtag?
The first nine chapters gets us through the first third, so let’s make that the goal for our first chat. Digital copies are available for free at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Project Gutenberg, iBooks, Google Play, Kobo, and perhaps elsewhere.