Saturday, January 10, 2015

North and South Read Along: Chapter 1-18 Discussion Post

Jenni is hosting today's discussion post! Make sure to hop over there for news, questions, and linky!


1.    Is this your first time reading this? If so, what do you think so far? If not, are you like this reread so far?

This is my first time reading, and I'm loving it!

2.    Have you seen the BBC mini-series? Is the book anything like you expected it to be?

Ha! I've watched it a lot since I discovered this. . . I think it was last year. LOVE IT!!! It is where I first fell in love with Richard Armitage. The book is everything I expected and more!

3.    Why do you think Margaret refused Henry? He seems like such a nice chap.

Girls refuse nice guys all the time. Margaret wasn't interested in Henry! Plus she has to meet Mr. Armitage, I mean Mr. Thornton. 

4.    What are your first impressions of Mr. Thornton?

5.    Why is Margaret so indifferent to Mr. Thornton, but she can make friends with the Higgins? They are both Northern people and have different customs.

I think her expectations of Mr. Thornton are really high. She expects him to be like the gentlemen from the South and to behave accordingly. I feel like Bess is kind of like a charity case for Margaret. She feels like she should help them and befriend them. 
6.    Compare the two moms we've seen in the story.

I think Mrs. Thornton is full of herself and her son. She is very proud, and judges the Hale family very harshly. I think because her family has had to work so hard to get where they are makes her think the Hales are lazy and uppity. I also think she is scared Margaret will steal her son away.

I feel bad for Mrs. Hale. She was taken from everything she has ever known, and she is deathly ill. It would be hard. We don't know much about her character, but I think she is very supportive of her husband, even though things seem strained right now. 
I think both women want what is best for their children, and have an immense love for their children. 

I think Mrs. Thornton is made of tougher stuff than Mrs. Hale. If it came down to working for a living. Mrs. Thornton would do better. 

It is hard to compare because they have very different backgrounds and family dynamics.

7.    What differences are you seeing so far between the North and the South?

North & South directed by Brian Percival, TV Mini-Series, 2004) #elizabethgaskell #fanart
Life styles are very different. The South have large properties with a lot of greenery. The North live in closer quarters and in a more industrial town.

The South enjoy a more leisurely life and the North thrive on working.

The North has hotter men!

They have different customs. For instance, Margaret doesn't want to shake Mr. Thornton's hand because it just isn't done. 

8.    Do you think Mr. Hale was justified in leaving the church and his position?                                                                                               I think Mr. Hale did what he thought was right. He moved his family and left his position knowing how hard it would be, but he did it anyway. I admire him a little bit for that.
9.    What are your feelings on Frederick's situation?

We don't have much information about his mutiny, but his family thinks he was standing up for someone else, and that his captain needed to be taken down. If this is the case, I feel bad for Frederick. He can't come home. He can't see his family. It would be hard. I feel bad for Mrs. Hale. She can never see her son again. It would be hard. 

10.    What are your thoughts on the master and worker relationship?

I liked when the book talked about the masters and workers needing each other. One could not exist without the other. I think the relationship is far from perfect. I think the workers deserve better pay, but I understand that the masters can't always pay them well. I think the workers could have better situations though. 

Basically I think it comes down to money and station. In England, the master and worker/servant relation will always  be a delicate one. I've learned a lot about this relationship from Downton Abbey.


-    Jenni will be hosting a Twitter chat today at 6:00 PM MST. Follow and tweet using #NorthSouthRAL. I'm excited to chat with everyone about the story and Richard Armitage!

-    Chapters 19-35 will be discussed on January 20 here on my blog. 

-    Don't forget! We'll be watching the BBC mini-series Friday, February 6 at Suey's house! Let us know if you'd like to come. If you live far away, watch along with us and tweet! It's on Netflix!


  1. Awesome pictures and gifs! I especially like the one with his mom. Gah, the smile! :) Great answers too. I think I give his mom a bit more benefit of the doubt than you do. She's strange, but I like her.

    I agree with how Margaret feels toward the Higgin's but I do think that changes as the books goes on.

    See you at the chat!

    1. I LOVE North and South gifs! Richard's smiles kill me!

  2. Great answers! I should learn how to incorporate gifs into my posts, they make things interesting. Thanks again for you, Suey, and Jenni for hosting the read along.

    1. It's really easy. I just copy and paste them.

  3. Fantastic post. Loved the gifs. I'm still sad I can't see the first one. :(

  4. I love all the gifs! Maybe RA and his old face will grow on me. (Ok, so he's not that old looking but I have to poke a little fun at him) :)
    And I totally agree Mrs. Thornton thinks the Hales are uppity. Plus I just like that word.

  5. I like your answers and yes I do like Mr. Armitage. I watched the Robin Hood Series on Netflix last year and really liked him in that. Thorin Oakenshield not so much but that may have been Peter Jackson and the writer's fault. I'm wondering why 19 year old Margaret does not seem to like boys. I've never know a 19 year old girl who wasn't madly in love with the idea of a boyfriend, or a husband. I did like the discussion about the Master's and the workers too--but they are very far apart in their desires and expectations. I think as the story unfolds we'll witness a little bit about how things improved for the laborer. I'm liking the book. Thanks so much for hosting and for stopping by.

  6. Firstly, SOOOO many lovely pictures up there! Thank you for posting them, Kami! I never get tired of looking at Richard Armitage. :D

    Your answer to #4 is perfect!

    Coming from the miniseries, I liked Mrs. Hale. I do think you're right in that she loves her children. But the first few chapters of the book, it seems all she did was whine and cry. Understandable regarding her illness, but still. Yet, I know she has the chance to change my opinion and I'm counting on that! :)

  7. Not having seen the TV show, it's great that you provide some pics - although I'm still finding it weird to think that Bates is Higgins!

    Would you consider providing your questions for chapters 19-35 beforehand, so we can ponder them as we're reading the chapters?
    Although if you're like me you're probably creating some of the questions as you reread the book yourself! And I did enjoy guessing what things you might ask questions about from the first section before you posted, so whatever works for you is fine...just thought I'd ask :-)

    1. Ya, I'm making questions up as I go along, and I'll get Suey and Jenni's input as well. Sorry!

      I love Bates as Higgins!

  8. Good point about girls turning down guys. The pictures and GIFs from the movie are gorgeous! I haven't seen the movie, but everyone says I'm in for a treat. And I had no idea Bates was in the movie.