Cousin Phillis, by Elizabeth Gaskell

Once again, a book by Elizabeth Gaskell has been a surprising pleasure. I feel like she is really underrated compared to so many other 19th century English novelists. Although she’s very much “of her time” (in both good and bad ways), Gaskell has a wonderful way with characterization and the observation of tiny details. This story of a very sweet, sheltered young girl whose quiet world is disturbed by the arrival of a young man from outside that quiet world, is very short (originally published in six installments), and very quiet and without dramatic incident, save for a good old fashioned case of brain fever. But it is a lovely little slice of life and was a short and enjoyable read.


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