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Read Harder Challenge - A book published before 1850

The Mysteries of UdolphoThe Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mysteries of Undolpho was published in 1794. The novel is the story of Emily, an orphan, who is sent to go live with her aunt. The aunt has her own ideas of suitors for Emily even though Emily has found her love. Then her aunt marries and the new husband wisks them both away from France for Italy.  There Emily finds herself under the control of Montoni who wants to stripe both aunt and niece of thier independence.  Confined to Undolpho, a medieval castle Montoni has inherited under suspecious means, Emily encounters stories of mysterious deaths, secret passageways, and strange music. She needs to find away to escape Undolpho and be reunited with her love.

3 Things I Disliked:

  • There was so much more included in the book than what was really needed. Random bits of poetry and stories that aren't part of the main plot. A lot of decription of scenery and places. Most of it seems really uncessary.
  • The characters are over the top. Emily is constantly fainting. Annette is always in extreme over the top mode. The evil characters are possibly just a tad too evil and the romance is just too idyllistic. 
  • The book is a hard read. Some people I've talked to attribute it to the previous two dislikes, but I think it's something more. I've read books that were overly descirptive or too many plot lines and haven't felt the struggle to pick the book back up to keep reading.  This book was different, I wanted to keep reading, but it wasn't easy to read the text. 

3 Things I Liked:
  • I liked Emily, for the most part, she had enough independence mixed with a need to be cared for that made her a great female lead. 
  • I like how all the mysteries were explained, even if it did take some of those extra long back story descriptions to do the explaining.
  • I liked how the characters all got what they deserved (for the most part). If you were good, you got a happy ending. If you were bad, you got justice served to you. 

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