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Extended Audio Sample Wives and Daughters Audiobook, by Elizabeth Gaskell Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.03 out of 54.03 out of 54.03 out of 54.03 out of 54.03 out of 5 4.03 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Craig Black Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455179251
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Set in nineteenth-century England, Wives and Daughters centers on the story of the youthful Molly Gibson, raised by her doctor father. When he remarries, a new stepsister enters Molly’s quiet life, the loveable but worldly and troubling Cynthia. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.

Wives and Daughters, generally thought to be Elizabeth Gaskell’s finest achievement, is far more than a nostalgic evocation of village life. It offers an ironic critique of mid-Victorian society through the themes of Darwinism, the role of women, and the concept of Englishness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wonderfully funny…profound ideas and strong values sleep beneath everyday details of bonnets and cakes.”

    Jenny Uglow, award-winning biographer and publisher

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie Boardman | 2/8/2014

    " I loved this book until the end. There is no end! However there is a darling movie that ends it just the way I would have. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michele | 2/8/2014

    " I read this book after seeing the wonderful mini-series - both are excellent! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Jacobson | 2/2/2014

    " You're probably not supposed to admit that the movie made of this book is one of your favorites...so I won't. BUT, even still I enjoyed the book even more. I enjoy everything written by Mrs. Gaskell and this is one is, I believe, the best. A truly delightful story of romance, sibling and parental relationships, and set in a most lovely time and place. Best read while drinking a "proper" cup of tea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela | 1/30/2014

    " I enjoyed the audiobook version of this classic so much it's going straight to the top of my favorites list. It's like Pride and Prejudice mixed with Downton Abbey in one ball of literature goodness. I can hardly wait to read more by Elizabeth Gaskell. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ♥Tiffany♥ | 1/28/2014

    " I enjoyed this book. It started out real slow for me but then about half way through I couldn't put it down! Molly was such a great character! She was so selfless through the whole thing. The only real disappointment was that the book ended suddenly. I didn't know this at the time but Elizabeth Gaskell died before she finished her last installment of this book. So even though you can see where the book was headed you still have to make it up for yourself. This is defiantly a keeper! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carey Combe | 1/19/2014

    " A classic - particularly on the damage gossip can do. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 1/13/2014

    " It is way too long of a story to get to the only good part of the book, to then have "someone" just lay out the facts of what they thought the author wanted the book to end up like. I finally thought we were going to get going with something, but alas.....not here. I now will have to watch the movie to find out if the end is anything worthy of my attention. I did however, love the much anticipated use of the word chagrined that must be present in any classic for our Nibley Boook Club. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robyn | 1/10/2014

    " LOVE the story, but wish the book had been finished...and edited. In this case, the movie is better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nada Abandah | 12/10/2013

    " I started reading Elizabeth Gaskell after falling in love with North & South, I have to say, this is not as good as North & South, but the story line is as good as ever. Her writings are a notch shy of Jane Austen. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly Baugh | 4/24/2013

    " The second best book of all time "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 12/8/2012

    " Great book! The only let down is that the author died before finishing the book, so you come to care about the characters and then there is no conclusion. However, the BBC movie is excellent and provides a plausible and sweet ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 12/4/2012

    " Just the kind of historical fiction I like. Very descriptive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 10/24/2012

    " It took me a few chapters to become comfortable with the writing style of the author, but so worth it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cat | 10/2/2012

    " On the very last page of the book (644!), I realized that the author had died before finishing it. You ought to know that fact before undertaking this monster. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tanya | 9/24/2012

    " I liked this story, an easy period romance story, with the typical twists and turns and undiscovered feelings preventing the romance from coming too fruition quickly. Lines up nicely with Pride and Prejudice, etc. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jess | 5/15/2012

    " Fantastic! I love this story. I believe that Mrs. Gaskell's writing is on par with Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Muki | 5/10/2012

    " Although I loved the Molly, I thought Roger was lacking. The book is incomplete so we'll never know how things would have panned out for them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dayle | 10/31/2011

    " Wives and Daughters has a similar feel to Jane Austen, but the language is a bit easier, so it's probably a bit more accessible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tika | 10/18/2011

    " Mrs. Gibson nee Kirkpatrick is a treasure of a wicked stepmother, and this novel contains that rarest of jewels: a Good Father. Love, love, love. The only thing that would have made this book better is if Mrs. Gaskell had lived to finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MaryLynn | 5/22/2011

    " The book starts very slowly, but if you love 19th century British novels, you will love this. Gaskell is very skillful in drawing her characters, and I really enjoyed getting to know the players in this overly long drama. I will definitely read more books by Gaskell. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 5/16/2011

    " It took me awhile to get into this book, but now that I'm into it, I find it very enjoyable, It's always fun to read a book with a character in it that has your name. I just wish that "Cynthia" was more like Molly in the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becca | 5/11/2011

    " Be warned, the book ends suddenly because Elizabeth Gaskell died before finishing it. That was the only thing I disliked about this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynner12 | 5/1/2011

    " i loved this book....i was really sad when i got to the back of the book and found that the author died before she was able to finish it. even without the end it is one of my favorite books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K.M. | 4/11/2011

    " Simultaneously lush and simple, drawing deep themes and sketching spectacularly complete characters. My only complaint is that the heroine lost some of her "muchness," in comparison to the portrayal in the BBC adaptation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lily | 4/11/2011

    " LbW selection, May, 2009.

    Victorian Goodreads selection, April, 2011.

    Listened to part on CD, but MP3 and didn't work well. Have not really finished reading the entire book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 4/10/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book. Sadly, it abruptly ends, since the author died. It is still worth reading. There is enough of the conflict resolved that you can gather what will happen and the story is well done. I'd still read it again, knowing there is no ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 exquisitehouse | 4/8/2011

    " One of my favorite reads. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 4/7/2011

    " Even though the book was never finished, it definitely has resolution. You feel like the ending is good. It's an enjoyable read--definitely a for-fun book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 4/6/2011

    " I wish she had lived to write the ending I am sure I would have absolutely loved it then. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Libby | 3/20/2011

    " For Jane Austen fans. A leisurely read that I could pick up and put down, but that I was never tempted to give up on. I read it over several months - and felt like I was spending time with good friends each time I picked it up again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tikabelle | 3/15/2011

    " Mrs. Gibson nee Kirkpatrick is a treasure of a wicked stepmother, and this novel contains that rarest of jewels: a Good Father. Love, love, love. The only thing that would have made this book better is if Mrs. Gaskell had lived to finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonja | 3/14/2011

    " I forgot it was unfinished, but the author was so close to finishing it that I didn't mind. I really enjoyed the characters. "

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About the Author
Author Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell (1810–1865) was an English novelist and short-story writer born in London and raised in Knutsford, Cheshire, which became the model for village settings in her novels. In 1832 she married William Gaskell, a Unitarian minister. Her first novel, Mary Barton, published in 1848, was immensely popular and brought her to the attention of Charles Dickens, who solicited her work for his periodical, Household Words, for which she wrote the series subsequently reprinted as Cranford.

About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.