Sunday, February 1, 2015

Six of the best marriage plots in novels

Martine Bailey’s first historical novel, An Appetite for Violets, is a gastronomic mystery tale set in 18th century Europe. Written as a book of recipes, it takes a young cook on a murderous trip from England to Italy. Bailey lives in Chester, England and as an amateur cook, won the Merchant Gourmet Recipe Challenge and was a former UK Dessert Champion.

At the Huffington Post Bailey tagged six of the best marriage plots in novels, including:
Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Bronte

A governess's conscience besieged In Jane Eyre, the eponymous heroine is forewarned of the fate of servants, so knows all about Richardson's Pamela from the tales told by her old nurse, Bessie. As a governess, Jane is an ambivalently placed servant to masterly Rochester, the Byronically attractive master of Thornfield Hall. In defending her virtue Jane battles for respect and equality of passion with Rochester. As befits a Gothic novel, Jane rejects the virtuous (and to my mind genuinely creepy) St John Rivers for the dark and ultimately humbled Rochester. Considered to be dangerously radical when first published, it 'violated every code human and divine,' according to The Quarterly Review. Now it is generally considered to be a masterpiece.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Jane Eyre also made Radhika Sanghani's top ten list of books to make sure you've read before graduating college, Lauren Passell's top five list of Gothic novels, Molly Schoemann-McCann's lists of ten fictional men who have ruined real live romance and five of the best--and more familiar--tropes in fiction, Becky Ferreira's lists of seven of the best fictional depictions of female friendship and the top six most momentous weddings in fiction, Julia Sawalha's six best books list, Honeysuckle Weeks's six best books list, Kathryn Harrison's list of six favorite books with parentless protagonists, Megan Abbott's top ten list of novels of teenage friendship, a list of Bettany Hughes's six best books, the Guardian's top 10 lists of "outsider books" and "romantic fiction;" it appears on Lorraine Kelly's six best books list, Esther Freud's top ten list of love stories, and Jessica Duchen's top ten list of literary Gypsies, and on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best governesses in literature, ten of the best men dressed as women, ten of the best weddings in literature, ten of the best locked rooms in literature, ten of the best pianos in literature, ten of the best breakfasts in literature, ten of the best smokes in fiction, and ten of the best cases of blindness in literature. It is one of Kate Kellaway's ten best love stories in fiction.

The Page 99 Test: Jane Eyre.

My Book, The Movie: An Appetite for Violets.

The Page 69 Test: An Appetite for Violets.

--Marshal Zeringue