Ten Best Moms in Literature

Happy Mother’s Day!

As we celebrate and give the love and affection our own mothers rightfully deserve, let us take the time to celebrate the great moms of literature ( what would we do without their comforting thoughts and words): Continue reading “Ten Best Moms in Literature”

10 Books With Great Teachers

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Whether you are a teacher who needs to regenerate and a reminder of why you are so important or a reader who wants to remember the inspirational teachers that made an impact in their lives, here are ten great books that perfectly portray why teachers deserve a whole week to themselves:

Continue reading “10 Books With Great Teachers”

Book Review: Matilda by Mary Shelley

29437563Format:  Paperback

Pages: 110 pages

Published: March 3, 2016 (first published 1819)

Publisher: Penguin Little Black Classics

Genre: Classics, Fiction

Synopsis:

Mary Shelley’s dark story of a bereaved man’s disturbing passion for his daughter was suppressed by her own father, and not published for over a century.

The only book I read from Mary Shelley was Frankenstein. So when I saw this novella, a story that her own father suppressed, I was very intrigued. Frankenstein  is one of my all-time favorite books so I wanted to see what other books Mary Shelley wrote.

Matilda is somewhat like Frankenstein, dealing along the same theme of the parent-child relationship. Shelley does a great job of having the reader identify with Matilda’s abandonment and loneliness issues. As the reader, you get the dive in her complicated relationship with not only with a mother she never got to meet but a father who abandoned her. Intensity of these relationships was clearly felt and Shelley did a great job portrayal for the first half of her tale.

The subject of incest, disgusting as it is, was one of the things that interested me in reading in this story. However, Shelley barely approach the subject, only a mere declaration from Matilda’s father. When this occurs, you get the overly dramatic and emotional telling of both Matilda and her father’s feelings, a perfect example of living in the Romantic Era. This when it got a little repetitive and at times straining to read. I was going to completely write this story off until I realized that I needed to do some more historical research to understand a little more of Mary Shelley’s intention of writing this story.

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Mary Shelley

To understand Matilda, you need to know learn the background of the author. Mary Shelley is the daughter of feminist philosopher and writer, Mary Wollstonecraft. Wollstonecraft contracted an infection from the birth and died ten days after Shelley was born. William Goodwin left Mary in the care of a family member for a time while he traveled around Ireland.Although there is no evidence to the contrary, you might consider this novella a little bit of an autobiographical account of Mary Shelley’s life. So finding more about Goodwin’s and Shelley’s relationship, I saw that this was a perfect example of the parent-child relationship.

Then I discovered the reason why Shelley wrote this Matilda. Shelley and her husband, Percy Shelley, lost two of their children and writing this novella distracted Mary from her grief. Mary became emotionally and sexually distant from Percy so maybe writing this story helped her put her feelings in words. That could be the reason why it was so overly dramatic and at times all over the place. The story may have been a downer and have a depressing ending but it was how Mary felt at the time and the only way she can put her feelings into words. It gave her chance to look back at her life and examine her present and somehow combined the two to create a story, no matter how controversial it may be.

So be prepared. If you would like to read this story (and I highly suggest that you would), try to keep an open mind. Don’t look at as another Frankenstein because it is not. Knowing more about Mary’s history actually gave me a better understanding of Matilda and this novella gives us a rare look into this great novelist’s life.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Get It At: Amazon |Barnes & Noble|Book Depository | Your local library

Quote of the Day – October 16, 2016

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“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”

― Roald Dahl, Matilda