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Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
18 posts | 11 read | 6 to read
As I waited for the carriage I realized that whereas before I had been accustomed to think of her as a selfish and often foolish woman I now regarded her as a veritable ogress. Lady Anne's position as the wife of Charles Guthrie gives her a unique (but limited) perspective on the relationship between her husband's stepbrother Cecil and the attractive but dominating Lady Guthrie. As she narrates this, Elizabeth Eliot's brilliant final novel, Anne creates a portrait of a ghoulish woman who ruins her son's life as thoroughly as if she set out to do so intentionally. Yet there are no easy answers here, and Anne's speculations and judgments sometimes shed as much light on her own relationships and experiences as they do on Cecil and his mother. In Eliot's skilled hands, the apparently simple tale of a dysfunctional family becomes an elegant and witty meditation on our inability to ever know the complete truth about those around us. Furrowed Middlebrow and Dean Street Press also publish three of Elizabeth Eliot's earlier novels--Alice, Henry, and Mrs. Martell--all available for the first time in more than half a century. This new edition includes an introduction by Elizabeth Crawford. "She is a humorist of the first order, and in a style of humour that is particularly British" The Queen "As she has already shown, Elizabeth Eliot is a gifted natural story-teller" Daily Mail
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Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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Such a perplexing read, yet it held my interest every time I picked it up, almost read like a thriller especially the 2nd half. This deceptively straightforward story about the strange mother-son-relationship is unsettling. As it‘s narrated by someone from afar, many things are told from the narrator‘s conjectures..rendering us not ever knowing what did really happen.

Ruthiella Great review! It really was a page turner, wasn‘t it? I felt afraid of the lengths Lady Guthrie might go to. 4mo
CarolynM Lovely review. There's room for a quite a few interpretations of the goings on. 4mo
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 4mo
See All 8 Comments
elkeOriginal Well said! 4mo
Cathythoughts Nice review 👍 It did read like a thriller at times ... I really liked that about it. (edited) 4mo
batsy You've summed it up perfectly! Perplexing & odd; not easily forgotten. 4mo
Tamra Yes, like a thriller! 👌🏾 4mo
LeahBergen Great review! You‘re so right; I read this book in big gulps. 4mo
71 likes8 comments
Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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What did I just read?

For me, the 1st half and 2nd half were very different.
I thought I knew what was going on, then the 2nd half undid those thoughts. And just confused me.

I now have brain scramblies and just need a lie down on a chaise-longue to let this book either soak in or have the next breeze relieve me of all the contradictory + confused feelings I now have…


elkeOriginal I need an Agatha-Christie-murder-mystery-character-gathering-wrap-up-in-the-library explanation. 😟 (edited) 4mo
Tamra It was not what I was expecting! 😆 But I really enjoyed it and had to keep reading on hoping for a resolution. 4mo
See All 11 Comments
quietjenn It was a doozy! 🤣 And I love your chaise lounge recovery imagery! 4mo
elkeOriginal @Tamra I agree! I could not stop reading. I just wish I knew what the heck really happened. 4mo
elkeOriginal @quietjenn A doozy, indeed. At least I don‘t regret it? 4mo
LeahBergen 😆😆 Right? It was such an odd (but compelling) read! 4mo
Ruthiella Yes, it really does throw the reader for loop! 😳 And we have to make up our own version for the bits that were not spelled out. 😅 4mo
batsy Ahahaha! I'm with you on needing a Christie-esque wrap up 😆 4mo
elkeOriginal @Ruthiella @LeahBergen It WILL stay with me - which is a compliment, I guess! 😉 4mo
Cathythoughts Nice review! It‘s a strange one 👍😄 4mo
35 likes11 comments
Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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The letters. Anne said early on that the weird Cecil letters to his mother don‘t sound like him, they seem as if they have been dictated.
Then it seems Lady Guthrie published a selected collection of those letters…do we think SHE wrote them herself as a rewriting of his life? That is why they are weirdly consistent with that weird ‘own boy‘ closing?
Just a random thought!
Not finished so maybe something becomes clear regarding this too…
(Ch 9) ⬇️

elkeOriginal And OF COURSE what she selected corroborates what she says! SHE selected them! 4mo
CarolynM Ooh! I like that idea. Lady G was narcissistic enough to do it. 4mo
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Cathythoughts I love this quote .. it captures the nebulous feel to the story (edited) 4mo
batsy Oh gosh, yes... That's a disturbing possibility! 4mo
quietjenn I definitely think she was judicious in the letters she included and we know she's not averse to doing that sort of thing. It would be keeping in what we've read of her, I think. 4mo
LeahBergen I was wondering about that myself! 4mo
23 likes7 comments
Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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I feel like I took this line from the description too seriously because I honestly have huge doubts that anything Anne tells us is necessarily the reality between Cecil and his mother.

Admittedly, I am only halfway. BUT: so far everything is basically hearsay/speculations and Lady Guthrie has not actually been terrible on screen?

Don‘t throw 🍅 at me yet - just concerned she is an unreliable narrator who never shows SHE is a decent mother…

Ruthiella Interesting hypothesis! 🤔 4mo
See All 11 Comments
CarolynM I have to admit I took Anne at face value, I didn't see anything to make me doubt her. But maybe this is the significance of the "face reflected in the glass" - maybe Anne is less reliable than I thought @LeahBergen 4mo
Cathythoughts This is a very interesting view… I got the feeling Anne was a good mother , and that she seemed normal enough … hmmmmm !!! 🤔 4mo
elkeOriginal @Cathythoughts I got suspicious from a few comments that seem to show a great distance between her and her daughter, and the boys have barely been mentioned…? Not done yet so will keep an eye out to see if I judged this too soon.. (edited) 4mo
elkeOriginal @CarolynM There were also vibes with Anne, her husband, and his cousin thru his mother that seemed like they were all looking for negatives about Lady G. Maybe bad blood about her replacing the first wife, their loyalty was with her as husband Charles‘ mother so automatically thinking the worst of the young 2nd wife? 4mo
batsy I felt this about halfway and considered the possibility that Anne was an unreliable narrator... Will be interesting to see how you feel when you get to the end. 4mo
elkeOriginal @batsy Exactly! I wasn‘t sure if it was too early in my reading to mention but it was bugging me! Reading onward… 4mo
quietjenn Definitely an interesting point to ponder! 4mo
LeahBergen What @batsy said! 4mo
23 likes11 comments
Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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Well then! There are possessive mothers - in literature and real life - and then there's Lady Guthrie, who takes things to a whole other level! Definitely darker and a bit more unsettling than I was expecting, I found this somewhat ambiguous tale falling closer to tragedy than comedy and leaving me with lots to ponder.

And now to go read all of the posts from our #furrowedmiddlebrowclub, as I've been avoiding until I finished.

LeahBergen Yes, quite unsettling! 4mo
Ruthiella It was tragic story, I agree. But just as Helbert couldn‘t be prosecuted, I wonder could any of it been prevented? Clearly everyone knew something wasn‘t right but were powerless to stop it. (edited) 4mo
Tamra The reader understands right off the bat something isn‘t right with both mother and son. There is a train wreck you know is coming and you can‘t avert your eyes! 4mo
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quietjenn I either unconsciously absorbed some of your comments, or we all opted for some of the same language to discuss Cecil and his mother. 😆 Maybe both! 4mo
quietjenn @Ruthiella I wonder, too. I think people tried - to the extent that they could - along the way, but if people don't want to hear the words your saying ... 🤷‍♀️ Definite sure of inevitability. 4mo
rubyslippersreads Dark and unsettling are the perfect words. 4mo
Tamra @quietjenn I think the novel has had the same impact on us all.😅😄 (edited) 4mo
batsy @quietjenn @Tamra I love reading all of our reactions and seeing how similarly we were affected 😅 4mo
Cathythoughts Very dark I indeed. Yes , Lady Guthrie takes the possessive mother to whole new level 😳 4mo
61 likes1 stack add9 comments
Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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Definitely a book that encourages discussion among #FurrowedMiddleBrowClub readers!

Set in late 19th century Britain, the story comes to the reader 2nd hand through Anne Guthrie as she narrates the unhealthy and twisted relationship between her mother-in-law, Lady Guthrie, and Lady Guthrie‘s young son, Cecil. Just how far will Lady Guthrie go to keep “her dearest boy” all her own? 😱

Tamra 😲 exactly! 4mo
Ruthiella @Tamra I think the ambiguity was really well done in this book. 4mo
Tamra @Ruthiella I don‘t mind ambiguity at all! It gives the reader something to ponder and come back to for reread. 😁 4mo
See All 16 Comments
LeahBergen @Ruthiella @Tamra I really enjoyed the ambiguity as well. It somehow made the story even more atmospheric. 4mo
Ruthiella @LeahBergen I found it really quite tense to read...almost thriller like. 4mo
LeahBergen It was! I found it hard to put down whenever I picked it up. 4mo
LeahBergen Oh, and I believe you have our next pick? I can‘t wait! 👏👏 4mo
Ruthiella @LeahBergen Yes, I‘m up next! I have two choices to put to the vote. 4mo
LeahBergen I love when it‘s time for us to find out our next pick. 😆 4mo
Ruthiella @LeahBergen I know! What do readers love almost as much as reading? Thinking about what to read next! 😆 4mo
batsy @Ruthiella @Tamra @LeahBergen Sometimes I wanted more info, but I agree that the book's atmosphere was bolstered by the ambiguity. That sense of dread! It's a book that keeps pulling you in. 4mo
Ruthiella At first I was wondering if Cecil was a “bad seed” and Lady Guthrie was protecting him from detection. But by the end, I became convinced she was just a narcissist and master manipulator. 4mo
elkeOriginal @Ruthiella When does the next vote happen? Just want to make sure I have a copy ready to read instead of jumping in late like this time 🤦🏼‍♀️ 4mo
Ruthiella @elkeOriginal I‘ll post it today or tomorrow! 😀 4mo
Cathythoughts ‘Narcissist and master manipulator‘ beautifully put .. that‘s exactly LG 👍🏻👍🏻 4mo
Ruthiella @Cathythoughts That‘s how I see her, though it‘s interesting that other readers have other theories. I like how the book gives enough room for speculation. 4mo
52 likes16 comments
Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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I‘m lost , the subtler parts of this story went right over my head. I feel like I‘d need to reread the book to make some sense of it all. I will say that I enjoyed every bit of it and was glued to the pages. I‘m left with a creepy feeling though. ..strange story. . I will be thinking about this one .. there are clues that will take time to filter through my mind. Elizabeth Eliot is quite the character herself ! #FurrowedMiddleBrowClub

Tamra Eliot definitely doesn‘t pander to the reader! That is why I liked the quote from Nealie who says she doesn‘t fully understand and perhaps she doesn‘t want to. 😯 4mo
Cathythoughts @Tamra Yes! It‘s just such a strange feeling to be left with after a book 😳😬 4mo
Tamra I was really expecting a revelation of LG having a more direct involvement in C‘s death! She didn‘t want anyone to have him and I have a suspicion she intended or planned or at least knew what was going to happen. What do you think? (edited) 4mo
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Tamra @Cathythoughts yes, it leaves you full of doubt. That is the way to would be in real life without an omniscient narrator or crystal ball! 🔮 4mo
Cathythoughts @Tamra I think that‘s very possible... she was a different woman after he died .. she didn‘t react in the ways they expected... gives me the shudders.. she wouldn‘t let him go even when he was dead 4mo
Ruthiella @Cathythoughts @Tamra I thought too she might have purposely influenced events which led to his death along the lines “If I can‘t have him to myself, then nobody can”. 😱 4mo
Tamra @Ruthiella it sure seemed to be suggested! 4mo
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts @Tamra @Ruthiella I totally thought she was involved in his death, especially when she didn‘t want Thomas the butler to accompany him. When he turned out as less than a perfect son as an adult she did away with him, keeping his memory alive and reshaping it by writing that (bizarre!) book about him. 4mo
LeahBergen @Tamra That Nealie quote is so telling! 4mo
Tamra @LeahBergen yes! Lots of hinting. 4mo
rubyslippersreads It‘s as though she preferred possessing a perfect memory of him (as shaped by herself), than her actual, living son. (edited) 4mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads Yes, exactly! 4mo
CarolynM @LeahBergen Yes! If she couldn't control him he couldn't be allowed to go on. Her book was bizarre, but what happened to his? Was it just an excuse to get away from her or did she destroy it? 4mo
CarolynM @Tamra I loved Nealie, she had such a great attitude to life. 4mo
Tamra @CarolynM 😁 I was disappointed she didn‘t defy convention and marry Willie. But she‘s probably wiser for it. (edited) 4mo
Tamra @CarolynM I can‘t recall if any other character ever confirmed there was an actual book, or did she manufacture that in her letters too? 4mo
LeahBergen @CarolynM Oh, right! Wasn‘t there something mentioned between Anne and Nealie about this? That maybe she didn‘t like what the book had to say and got rid of it or maybe there never was a book? Another mystery! @Tamra (edited) 4mo
CarolynM @Tamra Even better, she married him off to someone else who "made Willie an excellent wife" while he "remained as devoted to Nealie as ever before" I think the arrangement suited her perfectly! As to Cecil's book, I can't remember if anyone else saw it, or whether it was just Cecil claiming that they had. 4mo
CarolynM @LeahBergen Right at the end Anne says it's not clear if it ever existed or if Lady G "finding it not to her liking, caused it to be destroyed" 4mo
Tamra @CarolynM yes, she was perfectly happy with their “arrangement.” 😉 😄 4mo
Tamra @CarolynM more ambiguity! 4mo
Cathythoughts @CarolynM @Tamra @LeahBergen I loved Nealie too & I thought Willies marriage suited her perfectly. Cecil‘s book is another mystery , as you say Leah. And , the opening line of the book ‘ you must never believe anything a poltergeist tells you ‘ LG was ‘ out there ‘ and living in some strange world 4mo
Cathythoughts @rubyslippersreads Yes ! Good point. Her perfect dear boy 4mo
batsy @CarolynM @Tamra Nealie was one of my favourite characters, too. She kept me grounded as a reader, kind of highlighting the way certain things were just not on! 4mo
batsy Nice review, Cathy! I was left with that creepy feeling, too. And was really intrigued by the fact that this might have been based on Eliot's own mother/their relationship. 4mo
Cathythoughts @batsy Yes , I read that too about her own mother , and that fathers are mostly absent in her books , as was Cecils father too. Thanks X (edited) 4mo
youneverarrived Great review! I do love a book that makes you think even after you‘ve finished it. 4mo
elkeOriginal I am at 70% and just became so confused I need to lie on a chaise-longue to recover… 4mo
elkeOriginal @LeahBergen Her reaction was so odd! Very suspicious… 4mo
Cathythoughts @elkeOriginal Stop 😂 between the tomato & the chaise-longue you have me in stitches 😂😂 putting Anne up for questioning may get you the tomato 🍅🤣 watch out 😆 4mo
elkeOriginal @Cathythoughts Send smelling salts instead of 🍅! I am starting to feel as crazy as these characters… 4mo
Cathythoughts @elkeOriginal Smelling salts are on the way 👍🏻🤣.. good luck with the rest of the book ( I‘ll send LOTS of smelling salts … 4mo
elkeOriginal @Cathythoughts Bless you, friend… 4mo
erzascarletbookgasm I‘ve finally finished it, Cathy! Agree with you on the creepy feeling part. 4mo
62 likes1 stack add34 comments
Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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This compelling portrait of malevolent motherhood, set in the late 19th century, was so much darker than I was expecting and kept me second guessing everything I read. The relationship between the domineering Lady Guthrie and “her own boy, Cecil” was so creepily affectionate and overbearing and made me wonder just how far she would go to keep him wholly to herself. How far DID she go, #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub? 😬

LeahBergen Okay… opinions, please! What did you take from the whole “The face reflected in the glass!” thing in Chapter 17? 🤔 4mo
CarolynM I was waiting for that to be explained, but like so much else it was left hanging. Maybe it's just that Anne subconsciously recognised Lady G's malevolence from early on. 4mo
elkeOriginal I think that cover says so much! Amazing. 4mo
See All 22 Comments
Ruthiella Half way through! Hope to finish tomorrow so I can read all the spoilers!!! 😆 4mo
batsy Malevolent motherhood! Yes. Nice review. A bit of a strange but very compelling book. 4mo
batsy @CarolynM @LeahBergen I'm not sure what to make of it, either. I went to several extremes 😆 Was Anne able to sense something and unknowingly (at the time) picked up on it or was Lady Guthrie's forays into spiritualism paying off, so to speak? 👻 But how? I wanted an answer but also was happy not to know, if that makes sense ... It creeped me out, though. 4mo
Cathythoughts Great review! I hope to finish soon too @Ruthiella so I can read spoilers too 4mo
Tamra @LeahBergen that was a weird scene that I expected would be addressed later. I don‘t know other than like @CarolynM notes, perhaps Anne is intuiting the depravity of LG‘s character. (edited) 4mo
LeahBergen @CarolynM @batsy @Tamra Yes, I couldn‘t figure it out either and all your suggestions ran through my mind, too. I also thought for a moment that maybe she was actually and purposely hidden in the house while Cecil introduced his future bride to it? 😬 4mo
LeahBergen @elkeOriginal I‘m quite taken by the cover! The image occurs very early on in the story. 😊 4mo
LeahBergen @Ruthiella @Cathythoughts @erzascarletbookgasm I can‘t wait to hear what you all think! 4mo
Tamra @LeahBergen oh that‘s just creepy & fitting! 4mo
Tamra I was just thinking a prequel about LG‘s life would be fascinating - just how did she get to be so awful? There‘s a story there! 🙃 4mo
LeahBergen @Tamra OMG. That‘s brilliant and I want it RIGHT NOW. 😆😆 4mo
batsy @LeahBergen Oh yes! It could be a mirror scene to the one where young Cecil was hiding in the mother's room the first time Anne meets him. 4mo
LeahBergen @batsy Eek! That‘s true. I hadn‘t thought of that! 4mo
erzascarletbookgasm @LeahBergen @CarolynM @batsy I was surprised when LG said there never was a portrait in the room. I thought perhaps Anne was an unreliable narrator after all, and that could change the whole direction of where the story was going. But after finishing the book, I agree with Carolyn about it being Anne‘s subconscious, perhaps. So many things unexplained! (edited) 4mo
erzascarletbookgasm Another thing unexplained, did Cecil actually write a book? Only LG said he did 🤔. Why was LG so buddy buddy with Mademoiselle Laurent? 🤔🤔 (edited) 4mo
LeahBergen @erzascarletbookgasm I‘m completely baffled as to why LG became so close to Mlle Laurent, other than the fact that she had to take over and control anything to do with Cecil‘s life. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4mo
elkeOriginal @LeahBergen @erzascarletbookgasm It was SO weird how she befriended Cecil‘s exes - Nealie said that LG ‘only liked them once Cecil was done with them‘. I have no clue why or what it means. She sure ruined Julie‘s life thoroughly and completely. 4mo
LeahBergen @elkeOriginal Yes! Poor Julie. 4mo
84 likes22 comments
Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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Welp! 😳 That was not the romp I was expecting, much better in fact. The period setting & penetrating examination of character and motivation within upper class circles reminds me of Wharton. 💜

I‘m surprised with the ending!

@Ruthiella @batsy @LeahBergen @Cathythoughts @CarolynM @erzascarletbookgasm @quietjenn @rubyslippersreads @catebutler @BookNAround @elkeOriginal @sarahbellum @SamanthaMarie

Tamra Cecil/Eliot is making good on the promise that we‘ll never really know. 4mo
Tamra If I can‘t have him, nobody will. 😨 4mo
CarolynM I thought of Wharton when Julie was reported to be "in America acting as a kind of lady-in-waiting and general arbiter of English taste to a rich family from Chicago". Very House of Mirth. 4mo
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LeahBergen @Tamra Your review is just how I felt, too! I quite enjoyed the grimness. 😆 4mo
LeahBergen @CarolynM Ah, that‘s cool! I love Wharton and House of Mirth is one I still need to read. 4mo
batsy I like that you mention Wharton! I did get those vibes in the way that Eliot has a sharp eye for the ways in which Lady Guthrie could manipulate a situation. 4mo
Cathythoughts Great review! I‘m really enjoyed this one 👍 4mo
Tamra @batsy manipulation - prefect descriptor! Wharton perfected that character type. 4mo
Tamra @CarolynM ahh yes! 4mo
Tamra @LeahBergen I‘m not sure what that says about us!? 😜 4mo
LeahBergen @Tamra 😆😆 4mo
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Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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There's helicopter parenting and then there's Lady Guthrie! Poor Cecil never really had a chance. But what a strange and tangled relationship it was between them. A cautionary tale for doting mothers everywhere!
@LeahBergen @Cathythoughts @batsy @Ruthiella @erzascarletbookgasm @Tamra @quietjenn @rubyslippersreads @catebutler @BookNAround @elkeOriginal @sarahbellum @SamanthaMarie

erzascarletbookgasm I‘m at the part where the engagement keeps getting called off and on, all because of her. 😏How frustrating for the Marsdens! Poor Cecil too! 4mo
Tamra 😂 yes. She‘s an example alright! 4mo
batsy It went a few levels up helicopter parenting for sure 😂 4mo
LeahBergen Poor Cecil, indeed. Yikes! 4mo
Cathythoughts Lady Guthrie is really something 😳 looking forward to finishing today 🤞 4mo
77 likes5 comments
Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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It's ironic that the cover blurb states that Elizabeth Eliot is a humorist of the first order, because I found this strange, compelling, & dark. It's my first time reading her & it's peppered with dry British wit, but the framing of the story & the way it casts an eye back reminded me at times of Willa Cather. There's an elusive mystery at the heart of the story about the relationship between Cecil & his mother that raises uncomfortable questions.

batsy There were times when I wondered if the story was too elusive, with too few details made known, but then I realised it would have shifted the mood of the story if more was revealed. It could have become a tawdry tell-all. But by using a narrator with a limited perspective observing from the outside, it's a novel of shadows & dark corridors that is all the more disturbing because of what it suggests about this kind of almost predatory mothering. 4mo
erzascarletbookgasm I‘m only at the first half of the book, and indeed, things are all very subtle, makes me wonder, what‘s really LG‘s motives are. 4mo
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batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Yes! I felt the same. Can't wait to hear your thoughts when you get to the end. 4mo
Ruthiella I‘m hoping to get to this this weekend, but the dark undertones don‘t surprise me if Mrs. Martell is anything to go on. It had its comedic elements, but it was also quite dark too. (edited) 4mo
Tamra Definitely dark! I‘m enjoying it. 4mo
batsy @Ruthiella I need to read that! I remember that most of your reviews were positive. And it sounds like the kind of character she's good at depicting, if this one is anything to go by. 4mo
batsy @Tamra Yes, it was really absorbing! 4mo
quietjenn I'm only through a few chapters, but all the comments about it are definitely intriguing me! Hopefully this weekend. 4mo
rubyslippersreads Much darker than I expected. 4mo
rubyslippersreads @batsy @Tamra Absorbing is exactly the right word. 4mo
LeahBergen Marvellous review! I‘ve also read Alice and Mrs. Martell and both of those definitely had dark humour; this one did NOT. I really enjoyed it for what it was, though. 4mo
Cathythoughts Great review!! I‘ve been busy being a Granny all week , but I really hope to finish this off this weekend. It‘s dark, I love it though 4mo
CarolynM Fabulous review, as always. Predatory mothering indeed! 4mo
batsy @quietjenn Can't wait to hear your thoughts! 4mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads Yep, I was expecting a fluffier read (of sorts :) 4mo
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you! I'm really interested to read both those books. 4mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, Cathy! And the Granny-ing sounds absolutely lovely; books can wait for a bit 😁💕 4mo
batsy @CarolynM Thank you! 🙂 4mo
96 likes1 stack add19 comments
Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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CarolynM Why can't Cecil have children? I thought maybe mumps, but then they seem to hinting about VD. Did they think that always made you infertile? Or is this about whether he should risk giving it to his wife? Anyway, how do they know he's got it? Surely even Cecil wouldn't tell his mother that? 4mo
CarolynM And why would it have been ok for him to marry her earlier? Why are they assuming he wasn't "amusing himself" before he met Lydia? 4mo
CarolynM Oh boy! Now it seems to be suggesting Cecil's genitals have been removed! Was that a Victorian "cure" for VD? 4mo
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Ruthiella I‘m so behind in reading. ☹️ I can‘t help, unfortunately. 4mo
LeahBergen I assumed that it was implying he had syphilis, which leads to infertility when untreated. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4mo
batsy I've been reading at night, with a lot of other books going on, so it's entirely possible a lot flew over my head 😆 I assumed that infertility was likely from contracting smallpox. Although as @LeahBergen said it could be that, too. But then we're left not quite knowing whether the infertility was an actual issue, right? So far, at least. 4mo
CarolynM @LeahBergen It would have to be pretty advanced for infertility wouldn't it? And what of the reference to a "devilish thing" being "done"? Also, C seems sure Anne & Charlie will never know if it's true or not, but if it's syphilis they likely will know because he'll die or go mad or both. I hate all this implied stuff! I want yo know what they actually mean?? 4mo
CarolynM @batsy is that a common result if small pox? Also, what I said to Leah. What was "done"? Maybe small pox can damage the genitals? I'd google it, but goodness knows what that would lead me into??? 4mo
batsy @CarolynM For some reason, I have it in my head that smallpox does cause infertility (and possible birth problems for women), but I'm not entirely sure. I will also google it when I'm feeling brave 😂 4mo
Tamra @batsy that‘s how I understood it. 4mo
julesG Off topic: Your Christmas card arrived this morning. Thank you so much. 😘 4mo
LeahBergen Eek! I‘m afraid to Google “smallpox genitals” 🤣🤣 I had assumed it wasn‘t smallpox because it came across as something‘s so shameful? I dunno. And wasn‘t he already with his girlfriend when he contracted smallpox? It wouldn‘t be a surprise to her then. It‘s very vague, isn‘t it?? (edited) 4mo
CarolynM @julesG I got your card too, thank you 😘 Sorry you've found yourself in this particular discussion 😆 4mo
CarolynM @LeahBergen @batsy @Tamra And the issue wasn't even mentioned when he got engaged again?🤔😳🤯 4mo
Tamra @CarolynM 🤔 I read on today a bit and now it‘s more vague!? 4mo
Cathythoughts Ivdd we just read chapter 8 & 9 and I‘m none the wiser …. Vague 😳and strange ….. 4mo
Cathythoughts Also Carolyn your Christmas card arrived !! Thankyou X 😘 4mo
CarolynM A few pages before the end we finally get an answer! @Ruthiella @LeahBergen @batsy @Tamra @Cathythoughts 4mo
Ruthiella Just finished chapter one last night! Now I am SUPER INTRIGUED to get to chapter eight! 😆 4mo
CarolynM @Cathythoughts Glad it finally arrived, hope the book isn't far away😘 4mo
elkeOriginal @LeahBergen That is exactly what I was thinking - his smallpox was not a secret nor would it be ‘shameful‘. I clearly must read on though…only halfway… 4mo
elkeOriginal @CarolynM What did you think that answer was? I just finished and am baffled… 4mo
CarolynM @elkeOriginal 6 pages from the end (in my ebook) "she had let it be known...that he was suffering from a shameful disease". I'm still not clear why this meant he couldn't have children (in the short term, anyway) but st least this makes the nature of the claim a lot more specific than it was initially. 4mo
elkeOriginal @CarolynM It seemed like Cecil hinted to Anne that this whole disease/infertility accusation may not even be true? Such a baffling book! 4mo
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Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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Ha! So true. Imagine what Eliot would have to say about weddings today! 😅 #FurrowedMiddleBrowClub

CarolynM Just read this passage too🙂 4mo
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Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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I‘m on page 94. I‘m really enjoying this one ....only what in the world is going on with Cecil and his mother ?! It‘s all very unsettling #FurrowedMiddleBrowClub
I hope I‘ve tagged everyone

Tamra Yes, their relationship has a creepy factor! 4mo
batsy That's the exact page I've paused at! And indeed, it's all a bit ominous at the moment. I'm curious about where this goes... 4mo
elkeOriginal Excited for this but still waiting for it to arrive! 😟 4mo
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Cathythoughts @Tamra It does ! 4mo
Cathythoughts @batsy I‘m interested to see too ... strange at the moment 4mo
Cathythoughts @elkeOriginal It‘s sure to arrive soon 🤞😄 look forward to your thoughts when you get reading ❤️ 4mo
LeahBergen @elkeOriginal It reads surprisingly quickly so you‘ll catch up in no time. 😊 4mo
LeahBergen Yes! Their relationship is a tad … unhealthy? 😆 4mo
catebutler I keep getting Hyacinth Bucket and her son Sheridan vibes from this relationship. 😂😂😂 4mo
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen It does read quickly! I must get back to it today 👍 4mo
Cathythoughts @catebutler Yes ! Hyacinth vibes... only Hyacinth seems quite innocent compared to Lady Guthrie 😁 (edited) 4mo
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Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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Okay, #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub, I‘m heading in (and just LOOK at my crazy Friday night 😉)!

CarolynM I'm 3 chapters in and enjoying it although I'm wondering where it's going. Enjoy your Friday night. Cheers🍷 5mo
LeahBergen Thanks! 🍷 And yes, I felt that way when I was reading another of her novels, 5mo
sarahbellum I love your coaster! 😍 5mo
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catebutler Your edition is fabulous!! I started last night and it quickly sucked me in. Your Friday night sounds like my Friday night - perfection. ☺️ (edited) 5mo
batsy I hope to start today. That cover is perfect! 5mo
Tamra It‘s great! 😊 5mo
rubyslippersreads I‘m about a third of the way through and enjoying it. 💙 this cover! 5mo
Ruthiella I‘ve only read the first paragraph! Enjoy! 📚 🍷 😃 5mo
Cathythoughts I love your cover! I‘m about 40 pages in and really enjoying 📚🍷👌 5mo
erzascarletbookgasm I will start soon. 👌 Why, you always have the best editions! 😍 5mo
shawnmooney Ooooh. Can‘t wait to hear what do you think of this! 😍 5mo
LeahBergen @sarahbellum 😆 Thank you! 4mo
LeahBergen @catebutler Thanks! Yes, it very quickly sucked me in, as well! 4mo
LeahBergen @batsy The cover image is actually a part of the plot from the first few pages, I think. Weird! 4mo
LeahBergen @Tamra I‘m thoroughly enjoying it! 4mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads Cecil‘s full highland garb! 😆 4mo
LeahBergen @Ruthiella I actually really liked the first SENTENCE . 😆 4mo
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts I like the colours on the cover. 😊 4mo
LeahBergen @erzascarletbookgasm Haha! Thanks. 😘 4mo
LeahBergen @shawnmooney I‘m loving it but you didn‘t like her first novel, Alice, and I did so…. 😆 4mo
kspenmoll I live the covers of all your vintage books! 4mo
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Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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I love this kind of dry wit! 😏 #furrowedmiddlebrowclub

Cathythoughts Me too ! I‘m ‘ enjoying‘ Lady Guthrie 5mo
Tamra @Cathythoughts yes! I think she‘s going to give the story some color. 5mo
Suet624 Hahahaha 5mo
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Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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Thank you for the reminder! @Ruthiella I‘ll kick off the morning with a few minutes of Cecil.

Cathythoughts I just kicked off my afternoon with some Cecil 👍👍 I think it‘s good already! 5mo
Ruthiella Beautiful picture! ❤️ 5mo
LeahBergen Yay! 👏🏻👏🏻 5mo
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Cecil | Elizabeth Eliot
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Happy New Year reading friends! This is a reminder that our #FurrowedMiddleBrowClub pick for January 2022 is upon us! Plan to read and then discuss around mid-month, if this works for you.

I‘m tagging everyone I think is interested in reading along. Please let me know if you want to be removed from the group tag OR if you are not tagged and want to be! 😊

catebutler I‘m so excited for this! And my copy just arrived in the post, so I‘m ready to start. 🤗 5mo
Ruthiella @catebutler Perfect timing! 😃 5mo
LeahBergen Awesome. Thanks for posting! 👍 5mo
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Ruthiella @LeahBergen No problem! 😊 5mo
LeahBergen Oops, @erzascarletbookgasm was missed in the tag. 😃 5mo
Ruthiella @LeahBergen Arggh! I knew I messed up somewhere! Thanks! 5mo
batsy Thank you for the reminder! 5mo
Ruthiella @batsy You‘re welcome! 😀 5mo
LeahBergen I seem to always miss tagging someone! 😆 5mo
CarolynM Thanks Ruth. Looking forward to it 🙂 5mo
Cathythoughts Thanks ! I was only looking at the book yesterday and thinking I must put it in my “spot” so I‘ll have it ready to read very soon 👍❤️ (edited) 5mo
quietjenn Thanks! Should be a good time! 5mo
Ruthiella @quietjenn @CarolynM @Cathythoughts It‘s always a great time reading along with you all! 5mo
erzascarletbookgasm Thanks 👌 5mo
Tamra Thank you! 5mo
Cathythoughts Thankyou 😘 I just started Cecil....it‘s off to a flying start 👍😁 5mo
elkeOriginal I‘m in! Just waiting for my copy to arrive… 5mo
Ruthiella @erzascarletbookgasm You are welcome! 😃 5mo
Ruthiella @Tamra No problem! 😀 5mo
Ruthiella @elkeOriginal Hope it arrives soon! 🤞😀 5mo
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