Group Response to Cranford III

Reading through the first three installments of Cranford has been a challenge of sorts. To me, reading is a hobby in which I devote a great amount of time to, and I usually read nonstop for a few hours, or until I have finished the book. Only reading two chapters at a time is hard for me to do, but I know that Cranford was not intended to be a novel, so that does help me from reading ahead. With only reading the novel through its installments, I find it’s easy to go back and re-read them right away, in a short amount of time, in case I have missed something. This is a luxury that I don’t usually have when I am reading one of my regular novels, because the chapters always end with a cliff hanger, and I “just have to” find out what happens next. With Cranford, however, I feel content when I finish the two chapter installments.

The story itself, I find extremely entertaining. Even though I do find it somewhat difficult to remember and differentiate between the characters in between readings, the characters are quirky and funny, and I enjoy learning more about them. It’s interesting reading the novel in its original installments, because they are not a straight-forward continuation. I appreciate how each installment has a different plotline that lasts for the two chapters, and then moves on to focus on different people/situations for the next. I feel like it keeps the story, exciting and fresh, and gives the reader a chance to learn about as many people, and even, go back in time as it did for chapters five and six. I also enjoy that you don’t necessarily have to read the other chapters to know what was going on, and you can almost read any installment as a stand alone work and still enjoy it.

As I continue to read the novel through its installments, I look forward to reading about the new characters and situations that will develop. I am excited to see who else we will meet, and if the new characters will cross over to the next set of installments. Reading on, I do hope however, that there may be an installment where the ending involves everyone still being alive, particularly the male characters.  For example, in the first installment: Captain Brown Dies, in the second installment: Mr. Holbrook dies, and in the third installment: Peter (allegedly) dies. Although it makes the stories interesting, and I understand that the main characters are all women, it would be nice to have one of the men make it out alive. You know? Lastly, I am interested in finding out if Peter actually had died in the war, even if his family had never heard from him again. Hopefully he is alive, because I think it would be interesting to see him again in Cranford.

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