The Poor Clare by Elizabeth Gaskell
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Date Added: 2002-10-31
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This Poor Book
I am a fan of Elizabeth Gaskell after reading North and South, Ruth, Cranford, and My Lady Ludlow. I was expecting another wonderful read, but was sadly disappointed.
This book focuses on Bridget, a woman who unknowingly puts a curse on her own estranged daughter and the granddaughter she did not know existed. A lawyer hired to find the heir of an estate discovers, after he falls in love with her, that the granddaughter is the heiress. He finds out not only the secret of her heritage but also the secret of the curse. When it is made known to Bridget that her curse has fallen on her own kin, she joins an extreme religious sect in order to try to remove the curse. The book ends when Bridget goes through some religious rite by which her granddaughter is freed from the curse and Bridget herself dies.
There is a lot about this book that left me confused. What or who was the granddaughter's evil double? Was Bridget really a witch or not? Why did Bridget have to die for the curse to be removed? Perhaps there is literary symbolism in this book that was above my head, but overall it felt like I wasn't catching everything for this book to really make sense to me.