Part 2/2 of the Cranford Read-Along (Chapters XIV to XVI)

All my deep and intellectual comments ran out with the first Cranford post, so for the second half all I have left are random and disconnected thoughts 🙂

I know from other reviews that most people found “The Panic” the funniest chapter in the whole book, but for me, all the embarrassing public giggles happened while reading “Signor Brunoni”. It starts with the disappointment of Miss Matty’s over the turban, and no mater how Mary tries to justify it, she should have known better! How great would it be for Miss Matty to walk down Main Street with a really outrageous headpiece? She’d be the belle of the village.

Other great scenes in this chapter were Miss Pole’s description of meeting the magician Mr. Brunoni (the forgotten glove! :)), Miss Matty trying to learn the tricks’ scientific explanations from her encyclopedia, and of course the show itself. As the ladies accepted they were facing real magic, they began to fear the Church might disapprove their attendance:

“Will you look my dear – you are a stranger in town, and it won’t give rise to unpleasant reports – will you just look round and see if the Rector is there? If he is, I think we may conclude that this wonderful man in sanctioned by the Church, and that will be a great relief to my mind.”

This beats imaginary burglars anytime!

In this second half I still missed my Mr. Holbrook, but I felt compensated by Mr. Hoggins. We don’t know much about him, but somehow I became a fan (I wonder how much of it has to do with the Dr. in the series… hummm). If on the first half I wanted a whole book just on Mr. Holbrook, now I want one just on the romance between Mr. Hoggins and Lady Glenmire. The Cranford ladies didn’t see that one coming and like them, I was craving for all the details.

Despite all the emotional scenes, Cranford only gave me one teary moment, when Mrs. Forrester is justifying to Mary the size of her contribution to help Miss Matty. Sniff.

The conclusion is, I had fun during my stay at Cranford. Not only was it a gentle book, full of characters you’d like to know in real life, but it also confirmed my belief that no one tops BBC when if comes to adapting classics. I still have the “Return to Cranford” DVD waiting for me on the shelf. I’ve been saving it for a rainy day 🙂

A big thank you to all of you who participated in the Read Along. It was my first, but for sure not my last.

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