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Modern Broods   By: (1823-1901)

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Modern Broods by Charlotte Mary Yonge is an engaging and thought-provoking novel that delves deep into the complexities of family dynamics and the challenges faced by individuals trying to navigate through the various expectations placed upon them.

Set in the mid-19th century, the story revolves around the lives of several interconnected families living in a small English village. The author skillfully crafts a nuanced portrayal of the different broods, capturing their joys, struggles, and conflicts with great authenticity.

Yonge's writing style is eloquent and evocative, transporting readers into the heart of Victorian society. The characters are well-developed, each with their own distinctive personalities and desires. From the matriarchal figure of Mrs. Merton, who diligently tries to keep her family together, to the rebellious Clara, who defies societal norms for the sake of love, the cast of characters is diverse and relatable.

What sets this novel apart is its exploration of the conflicting societal expectations faced by both men and women during this time. Yonge delves into the gender roles and class divisions of the era, challenging conventional norms and shedding light on the restrictions placed upon individuals. This keen observation of society adds depth to the narrative, making it more than just a story about familial relationships.

One aspect that may be disconcerting to some readers is the slow pacing of the book. While this allows for a thorough examination of the characters' motivations and a deeper understanding of their actions, it may also create a sense of stagnation at times. However, for those who appreciate in-depth character development and reflection, this will be a minor concern.

Throughout the novel, Yonge weaves a web of intricate relationships and demonstrates her profound understanding of human nature. Her insights into love, sacrifice, and the quest for personal fulfillment resonate with readers even today. Moreover, the novel's conclusion offers a satisfying resolution to the characters' journeys, leaving readers with a sense of hope and closure.

In conclusion, Modern Broods by Charlotte Mary Yonge is a timeless masterpiece. Its exploration of complex familial relationships, intertwined with the societal expectations of the Victorian era, is both compelling and eye-opening. While the pacing may not suit every reader, those who appreciate deep character development and social commentary will find themselves immersed in this captivating narrative. This book stands as a testament to Yonge's skill as a storyteller, and it is a worthy addition to any literary enthusiast's collection.

First Page:



"Whate'er is good to wish, ask that of Heaven, Though it be what thou canst not hope to see." HARTLEY COLERIDGE.

The scene was a drawing room, with old fashioned heavy sash windows opening on a narrow brick walled town garden sloping down to a river, and neatly kept. The same might be said of the room, where heavy old fashioned furniture, handsome but not new, was concealed by various flimsy modernisms, knicknacks, fans, brackets, china photographs and water colours, a canary singing loud in the window in the winter sunshine.

"Miss Prescott," announced the maid; but, finding no auditor save the canary, she retreated, and Miss Prescott looked round her with a half sigh of recognition of the surroundings. She was herself a quiet looking, gentle lady, rather small, with a sweet mouth and eyes of hazel, in a rather worn face, dressed in a soft woollen and grey fur, with headgear to suit, and there was an air of glad expectation, a little flush, that did not look permanent, on her thin cheeks.

"Is it you, my dear Miss Prescott?" was the greeting of the older hostess as she entered, her grey hair rough and uncovered, and her dress of well used black silk, her complexion of the red that shows wear and care... Continue reading book >>

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