Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope


Seeing the enthusiasm for Anthony Trollope on several book blogs that I enjoy made me curious to try one of his novels. To be honest, I chose Miss Mackenzie because it's one of Trollope's shorter works. I was captivated by what I read.

Margaret Mackenzie is thirty-five and unmarried. She has lived a life of service to her family and cared for her brother who has died and left his fortune to her. With her new circumstance, Margaret leaves her drab London existence for a happier life in Littlebath. 

Margaret soon finds she has the attention of three suitors. The Reverend Jeremiah Macguire, curate to Mr. Stumfold in Littlebath, is persistent, annoying and only interested in securing his future with Margaret's money. Samuel Rudd, the charming but unscrupulous business partner of Margaret's brother, also has plans for her money. Then there is Margaret's cousin, John Ball, a widower with nine children, who wants to marry her. His mother, the cantankerous Lady Ball, has no love for Margaret and thinks Margaret's fortune should have gone to John. 

I really liked the characters in this novel. Margaret is intelligent and thoughtful as she decides the course of her future and faces the unanticipated challenges that her fortune brings. I also liked that she was unafraid to voice her opinion. The other characters in the book are fun to read about as well. There's a fair amount of comedy and drama, too, for example, as Margaret navigates the rather difficult social scene in Littlebath. 

What I enjoyed most about Miss Mackenzie was Trollope's narration. His asides about the characters and the story were delightful. In fact, several passages went on for awhile without his commentary, and I actually missed him.

If, like me, you've never tried a Trollope novel before, this might a good place to start. I look forward to reading more of Trollope's work. 

Have you read Miss Mackenzie? Which of Anthony Trollope's novels do you recommend?

I read Miss Mackenzie for my participation in A Literary Odyssey's A Victorian Celebration.

4 comments:

  1. THank you for this I, too, have wondered where to start for this author.

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  2. I'm so pleased you enjoyed this book! Trollope's narration, with all the asides, is one of the many things I've come to love about his novels, too. We'll begin Framley Parsonage for the #6Barsets project soon, but I'm already composing a list of his stand-alones to read after that. Thanks for introducing me to Miss Mackenzie.

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  3. I do want to read Miss Mackenzie, as it sounds very in line with Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire which I am reading. I found the 6 novels in Kindle version for 99 cents, and have read and loved the first four. I just completed Framley Parsonage and loved it. He writes of romance, adds humorous comments, and it is all very entertaining.

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  4. I read this again recently & loved it. Margaret is a very engaging heroine although none of her suitors really make the reader's heart beat faster!

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