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Mary Wakefield (1949)

Mary Wakefield (1949)
3.93 of 5 Votes: 5
0316180017 (ISBN13: 9780316180016)
little brown & company
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Mary Wakefield (1949)
Mary Wakefield (1949)

About book: MARY WAKEFIELD is, chronologically, third book in the Jalna series, though it's not the third Jalna book that author Mazo de la Roche wrote. Compared to her original trilogy----JALNA, WHITEOAKS and FINCH'S FORTUNE, all set in the 1920's---it doesn't stand up very well. But even so, it's an interesting "flashback" to the 1890's, when Renny Whiteoak and his sister Meg are motherless children in need of a new governess. The title heroine is, of course, that governess. Miss Wakefield arrives at Jalna to teach the unruly young Whiteoaks, who give her a rather hard time for awhile. And it doesn't help much when their widowed father, Philip Whiteoak II, falls for the governess, and she for him. Grandmother Adeline makes a comeback here as Philip's domineering mom, who doesn't want her favorite son to remarry. Most of the conflict is between Mary and Adeline, and the dramatic interest lies in seeing who will win the battle. It has also been suggested that de la Roche structured this book on JANE EYRE, with the similar theme of a governess falling in love with her employer. However, Mary is a rather colorless character compared to Jane, while lazy, slow-as-molasses lover Philip is NO Mr. Rochester! Don't expect too many Gothic elements here. The best part of the book concerns the mischievous pranks of the children, who will grow up to be the Meg and Renny we know.
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