Friday, 30 December 2011
Washington Square by Henry James
Set in 19th century New York Catherine Sloper lives with her wealthy father and aunt. Their lives are not remarkable, indeed Catherine is considered dull and plain by her well meaning but sometimes callous father that is until she is courted by a young man named Morris Townsend. Townsend doesn’t have a penny to his name and is suspected, by Catherine’s father, of being after Catherine’s inheritance money. To balance out the cold, cynical suspicions of the father Catherine’s aunt (a stupid, meddlesome woman) sides with the young couple and views Morris through romanticised rose-tinted glasses; fantasising that he is the son she never had.
The story is entertaining, gripping and easy to get swept up in. The characters are brilliant and I found it impossible not to feel personally involved with them. I often found myself giving little cries of surprise or elation whilst reading it (resulting in strange looks from passers by) but it is a story that really sucks the reader in and fires up the imagination. The drama of it all kept me on the edge of my seat.
Highly recommended and not at all difficult to get on with.
Final verdict 4/5