Narrator: John McDonough
Originally published: 1880
Length: 8 hours
Personal Enjoyment Factor: 4.5/5
"Do you think it is
better to be clever than to be good?”
“Good for what?” asked the Doctor. “You are good for nothing unless you are clever."
Catherine Sloper is lacking in beauty and brains, but she does come with a sizable fortune. Her father, a doctor whose wife died giving birth to Catherine, is convinced that her persistent young suitor Morris Townsend can only be after her money. He is animated, interesting and handsome, while Catherine is dull and passive, but "good." Does he see something in her that her cruel father clearly doesn't, or does he have his eyes on her inheritance? James keeps the reader questioning throughout.
He also manages to keep the reader chuckling throughout, thanks to the meddling of dear Aunt Lavinia. She for one is bent on bringing the two young lovers together. Her efforts are sometimes counterproductive, but her desire to live some sort of romantic melodrama through them is downright hilarious. Her character provides a much needed comic relief to the harsh sarcasm of Dr. Sloper.
I enjoyed this much more than The Turn of the Screw by James. The reader of the audiobook was very good, but he read very slowly. I even turned my player to fast speed, and it was still slow! But it did help me get through much jam-making which was a fundraiser for our city's Relay for Life: