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Madelon A Novel   By: (1852-1930)

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Madelon: A Novel by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman is a compelling work of fiction that delves into the complexities of human emotions and societal expectations. Set in a small New England town during the late 19th century, the novel explores the life of Madelon, a young woman haunted by her past and burdened by her family's reputation.

From the very beginning, Freeman's writing shines with vivid descriptions and a keen attention to detail. The scenic countryside and the intricate workings of the town are depicted with such precision that they almost become characters in their own right. This careful portrayal of the settings not only adds depth to the narrative but also creates an immersive experience for the reader.

Madelon, the protagonist, is a fascinating character. She is portrayed as both strong-willed and vulnerable, navigating a world that expects women to adhere to strict societal norms. As the novel progresses, Madelon's inner struggles and emotional turmoil become more pronounced, making her a relatable and sympathetic character. Freeman expertly captures Madelon's internal conflicts, allowing the reader to fully understand her motivations and actions.

The supporting cast of characters enhances the story's richness. From Madelon's warm-hearted aunt to the enigmatic stranger who enters her life, each individual adds layers of complexity and intrigue to the narrative. The interactions between these characters are particularly well-crafted, revealing the intricate web of relationships that exist within the town.

One of the most impressive aspects of Madelon is Freeman's exploration of themes such as identity, social expectations, and the power of secrets. She carefully dissects the impact of reputation on an individual's life and the weight of familial obligations. Through her characters, Freeman challenges societal norms and asks the reader to question the consequences of conforming or defying them.

The pacing of the novel is steady, with each chapter contributing to the overall development of the story. Although there are moments of tension and suspense, Madelon is primarily a character-driven narrative. The focus on Madelon's internal struggles fosters a deep emotional connection with the reader, making it difficult to put the book down.

While Madelon: A Novel may not be as well-known as some of Freeman's other works, it is undoubtedly a hidden gem that deserves recognition. The author's exceptional storytelling skills and her ability to craft multi-dimensional characters make this novel a captivating read. With its engaging plot, evocative prose, and thought-provoking themes, Madelon is a book that will leave a lasting impression on readers and keep them reflecting long after the final page.

First Page:


A Novel


Mary E. Wilkins

Author of "A Humble Romance" "Jane Field" etc.

New York Harper & Brothers Publishers 1896

Love is the crown, and the crucifixion, of life, and proves thereby its own divinity.

Chapter I

There was a new snow over the village. Indeed, it had ceased to fall only at sunset, and it was now eight o'clock. It was heaped apparently with the lightness of foam on the windward sides of the roads, over the fences and the stone walls, and on the village roofs. Its weight was evident only on the branches of the evergreen trees, which were bent low in their white shagginess, and lost their upward spring.

There were evergreens Norway pines, spruces, and hemlocks bordering the road along which Burr Gordon was coming. Now and then he jostled a low hanging bough and shook off its load of snow upon his shoulders. Then he walked nearer the middle of the street, tramping steadily through the new snow. This was an old road, but little used of late years, and the forest seemed to be moving upon it with the unnoted swiftness of a procession endless from the beginning of the world. In places the branches of the opposite pines stretched to each other like white draped arms across the road, and slender, snow laden saplings stood out in young crowds well in advance of the old trees... Continue reading book >>

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