Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Portrait of a Lady- Henry James

Hi there! How goes life?

So. I finished The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James last night, and, so, I present to you my first-ever blog post about an actual book! (now, everybody cheer. All together now! 1,2,3.... YAY! HOORAY! WOOHOO! YEAH!)This is going to be kind of short, though, because I have class soon. Sad day.

So, here's what I thought:

I guess I should start by telling you whether I liked the book or not. My answer to that would be, yes, I liked it very much. I wasn't having any sort of super-crazy reaction at the end, however. I think this was because everything about the novel was very... shall we say, understated, and quite intellectual.

The plot follows a young American woman named Isabel Archer as she travels through Europe with her aunt after the death of her father. Isabel is quite the free spirit, but soon finds her will pitted against her duty in a knock-down, drag-out fight that lasts all the way through the novel. In all, the novel itself is a commentary on this sort of conflict in all of us.

Another, unrelated thing that I noticed about this novel was that the third-person narrator hardly ever gives the reader guidance about what to think about the characters. Instead, the characters sort of develop themselves through their dialogue, which I thought was pretty neat. This also means that we get to see a lot of conversations between secondary characters that wouldn't be included in other novels. Instead, the reader would only see the results of the conversation as they pertain to the protagonist, if that makes sense. I really liked seeing what was going on on the sidelines of the plot.

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who's looking for a novel that makes them think. The novel is very character-driven and intellectual. Definitely not a light read but certainly a worthwhile one. 

Annnnd I'm definitely going to be late for class. Oh well. Before I shut up:

Currently reading: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

Next on the list: Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English, by Natasha Solomons.

Alright. Leaving now.

See ya!


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