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Oct. 16th, 2006 | 09:11 pm
The latest item on my literary menu is Charlotte Bronte's hefty novel, Shirley, which tackles weighty labor issues amidst the more familiar domestic ones. I have barely made a dent, but I've read enough to be reminded of what a WONDERFUL writer Charlotte is. I love how I can start reading about the randomest thing, like an Irishman cooking a mutton chop inside a mill on a rainy day, and find it utterly engrossing. She makes me feel like a child receiving something delicious and hearty, something I needn't fear ingesting, yet something I can bear to savor as well without finding it overpowering, or excessively heavy. This particular book reminds me of Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton. As a matter of fact, I'm not surprised that the two ladies were such good friends. Well, I have many wise and articulate friends. Unfortunately, I still find myself straining to write something worthwhile, only to throw up my hands and sit perusing the words of my betters. Perhaps I am too young; my soul is not weighty enough, hasn't borne with much joy or sorrow to speak of. There is a girl, Caroline, in this story, a sweet young thing, full of hope and possibilities. Sadly, the only thing I can claim to share with this charming woman-child is a vague sense of uneducatedness. Is something indeed missing, or will the refining fires of life put to right that which is lacking in this old lady's character? One thing that I am pleased to note, when I see a child goofing off, there is a bit of me that hums in sympathy, that longs to howl mischievously and partake in the fun. If that is a token of my inexperience, then I don't mind wading in the shallows a bit longer.