The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff

0670020990.01._SX140_SY225_SCLZZZZZZZ_The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff

Viking, New York, 2009

Borrowed from the library.

I read this for Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon.

I first found Meg Rosoff’s work last summer when I read What I Was.  I was captivated by her words.  My review of  that book is here.  This new novel  solidifies my appreciation for Rosoff’s commitment to her stories and the clarity of her writing.

The Bride’s Farewell takes place in and around the cathedral city of Salisbury, near the Salisbury Plain, the location of one of the world’s most famous pre-historic monuments.local_stonehenge

It is the story of Pell Ridley, her need to break free of grinding poverty and of her family’s and her community’s expectations.

On the morning of her wedding day Pell takes her small dowry, her horse Jack, and somewhat unwillingly, her brother Bean and runs away.  She  heads for the Salisbury Fair.  Her plan?  To to find work, escape a marriage she dreads, and start a life for herself.

It was a tangle of a family, for better or worse, a right complexity of children, all knotted up with love and jealousy, and all competing for anything they could get-food, boots, underclothes without holes, a shawl, a piece of bread, a kind word from Mam.   Each acquisition took on the status of treasure in times so tight you thought you might die for the want of a half a spoonful of drippings or a shoe you couldn’t see through. From page 24.

Although Pell has great knowledge of and skill with horses her  journey towards independence is not easy. She is robbed, harassed and threatened.  There is separation and loss but also, eventually, healing and love.  As with What I Was, Rosoff takes great care with place and setting, bringing the Fair, the city, Pell’s travels and the local people to life.  The story feels historically accurate, a bit like reading  Hardy or Dickens, but no where near as dense.   It is beautifully written and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The Bride’s Farewell is being marketed as a young adult novel but, as with many YA titles,  I found it a quick and engaging  read.   I am planning on reading How I Live Now within the next few months.

Other reviews:

Angieville

Bookwitch

Bibliophile By the Sea

My Friend Amy

So Many Books, So Little Time

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18 Comments

Filed under Review, Young Adult

18 responses to “The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff

  1. I love “a right complexity of children.” What a cool line. Sounds like a perfect readathon choice!

  2. Oh I’m so glad you liked this :p I’ve read so many disappointing reviews of it and I’ve been wanting to hear someone say “yes it was good!!” Ok…I can safely put it on my wishlist now!

  3. Gavin your mini review is up on MiP. I’ve linked my name to the post.

  4. Definitely sounds like a book I would love! I read Rosoff’s How I Live Now a few months back and was very moved by it… it’s disturbing, for sure, but very thought-provoking. Much of the imagery has really stayed with me. Great review!

  5. I really liked How I Live Now and I have another one on the shelves Just in Case, which I’m really looking forward to reading, but for all I’ve read about this one. I still can’t say I’ve been tempted by it. Glad you enjoyed it though.

  6. In Salisbury you say? Hmmm. I didn’t care for two of the three Meg Rosoff books I’d read, and I was planning on leaving subsequent ones alone, but if it’s in Salisbury I may have to reconsider. Great review! :)

    • Jenny – I guess I like Rosoff’s style of writing. I felt like I was right there in the stink and the muck of Salisbury Fair. Thanks for your comments!

  7. tuulenhaiven

    I read ‘How I Live Now’ a few years ago and really liked it, although at the same time it was a really tough book. Since then I have forgotten to keep an eye out for other books by Rosoff – thanks for the reminder and a good review. This one definitely sounds interesting.

  8. This book disappointed me, sadly, but I am glad that you enjoyed it!

  9. I now have a copy of this thanks to the lovely Amy :D I have no doubt that I’ll love it!

    • Nymeth- I hope you enjoy The Bride’s Farewell. I like Rosoff’s writing style, I find it clear and direct. Have a great week.

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