Margaret of the North

Rated 4.20/5 based on 10 reviews
An enduring love. A guilty pleasure. Margaret Hale is intelligent, independent-minded, passionate about her concerns. A Victorian feminist. The story takes off from the titillating ending of the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel, North and South, but characterization is informed largely by her book. This sequel is written in a tone and style that pays homage to Gaskell and Jane Austen. More

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About E Journey

I'm a realist in my writing, as well as my art. I don't have as much imagination as many other writers—a handicap (or strength) that comes from my training (Ph. D., University of Illinois) and experience as a mental health researcher/evaluator and program developer. I'm also a flâneuse—a female observer-wanderer. So, I watch, and observe. And listen. That's where the meat of my writing comes from.

But I’m also a sucker for happy endings. I find enough that depresses me about real life, but seek no catharsis by writing about it. I want escape, entertainment. I don’t strive to enlighten. Not consciously, anyway, but because my previous training has given me a bias, I’m interested in the inner lives of characters, including the passages they go through.

As an author of love stories, I’m inspired by Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell and their awesome feminist heroines. So, I tend not to rely on broad shoulders and heaving bosoms. Instead, I go into protagonists' thoughts and emotions, their conflicts and their joy, their struggles to reach balance and grow. My novels deal with insecurities and disappointments, love/hate relationships with parents, characters who seem to behave out-of-character, and even life events not typically included in romantic fiction.

I have an author website: Evy Writes at http://evyjourney.com

My musings on art, travel (mostly Paris where I have stayed for months), eating, and state of being and some of my paintings are on: Journey on a Limb at http://eveonalimb.com.

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Margaret of the North
An enduring romance. A guilty pleasure. A Victorian romance. Impossible?

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Reviews

Review by: Jhonni Parker on Aug. 30, 2012 :
Loved this book! Wow, I only just finished it a few hours ago and I can’t get it out of my mind! I wanted to stay forever lost in the pages of this story, never to leave. I love the way the E. Journey writes, the words seemed to almost put me in a trance at times! I was totally pulled into Margaret’s world and felt her struggles along with her as she navigated the terrain of her new life and all the conflicts that came with it. Was this book perfect? Of course not…no book is. But what it did do was provide me with hours of blissful escapism for a teeny tiny price and for me that is pure heaven! This novel is in my mind a wonderful companion to the “North and South” miniseries and stands in its own right. I’d definitely love to read more from this author in the future as she has a new fan in me!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Samantha Ryan on Aug. 27, 2012 :
I had a hard time getting in to this book at first, mostly because I had no idea what the other book/story (North and South) was about. I’d never even heard of it, but I do like historical romance so I thought I’d give it a shot. I do feel like the author brought me up to speed on the events that occurred prior to the opening of her novel “Margaret of the North”, but for me, I kept feeling like there was something I wasn’t quite getting. So I don’t know if this is my own fault for having not been familiar enough with the prequel, but I’m not sure this is so great as a standalone, at least in my opinion. But I can say that it did seem like a really good book and the writing was excellent! I just felt a little lost and think I would have appreciated it more with the knowledge of the backstory.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Darla Ortiz on Aug. 24, 2012 :
First and foremost, I must commend the author E Journey on writing such a beautiful and moving novel. It must have taken a long time and much effort, and it really shows in the pages of Margaret of the North. I’ve read too many books where it is obvious the author rushed the process or was just “winging it”, and this is clearly not the case here. The narrative was tight and strong, and the plots were well thought out and artfully woven together. I am a stickler for grammar and punctuation, and was pleased at the level of editing found here that is rare to find in many Indie published books. Bravo. I do wish, however, that there could have been a bit more action and tension that would propel the reader forward. While the prose was lovely and lyrical, I felt a certain lack of urgency that made me HAVE to turn the page…I just did it because I wanted to. This is not a light or a quick read, but it is one that will consume you for days and leave you happier for having read it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Carla Biggins on Aug. 22, 2012 :
Being totally unfamiliar with the story that “Margaret of the North” is based on (the series “North and South”), I was able to read and appreciate this book with a clear and open mind. I immediately was drawn into the story of Margaret and John and loved watching their romance unfold. The author did a wonderful job of taking my imagination to another time and place and keeping it there. The characters were well-rounded and dynamic, the storyline engaging and intricate, and the descriptions clear and vivid. Almost everything I could want for in a great book. It is a bit on the long side compared to what I am used to, but in my opinion it was well worth the read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Stacy Decker on Aug. 21, 2012 :
I'm a sucker for a great romance and Margaret of the North by E. Journey did not disappoint! I loved the language and the tone of the narrative as we continue on with the saga of Margaret and John’s life after the end of “North and South”. There were times where I thought the pacing slowed a bit too much for my liking, and there were some excessive details that I thought did little or nothing to add to the richness of the story. But other than the few places that I skimmed over I thought the story was absolutely wonderful and I especially appreciated how the author really made it her own…she wasn’t trying to duplicate the original, but created a wholly fresh spin-off that still maintained the delicious flavor of the original. Definitely recommend for fans of the series, and of historical fiction and romance.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: April Dawn on Aug. 20, 2012 :
As I was reading “Margaret of the North”, I found myself feeling torn more than anything. On one hand I thought the writing to be lovely…E. Journey is skilled at weaving engaging prose. But on the other hand I kept feeling like I was always waiting for something to actually happen. I guess for me, there weren’t enough high stakes to provide the story with the tension that its predecessor had. While it’s nice to see Margaret rich and happy and in love, there are no imminent threats, no real dangers, no real conflicts that are seemingly impossible to overcome, yet they manage to do so. It just felt too safe. However, there were some riveting interpersonal dynamics that helped to fuel the story forward, but I felt for a novel of this size there should have been much more on an emotional impact that I can’t say I really felt. Still a wonderful book that I think the fans of North and South will enjoy.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Anabella Johnson on Aug. 19, 2012 :
A stunning piece of literary brilliance! Wow, it is not often where I am really impressed with the way an author writes (I usually care more about the plot and tend to shy away from the literary stuff), but this book was…for lack of a better word – beautiful. I loved the near-magical way that E. Journey strung sentences together that evoked such vivid imagery simply with words. Although I had never seen the miniseries “North and South” and was pretty unfamiliar with the plot, I never felt lost or confused as we are filled in on the character’s lives when the book opens. After that I was sucked in and thought that Margaret was an amazing character. I also thought the illustrations were a nice touch. This is not a light and easy read by any means, but fans of historical fiction and literary retellings should definitely grab it.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Kaylee Stevens on Aug. 16, 2012 :
I've read so many stories that end just as they were getting “good”, meaning the hero/heroine finally resolve their differences; realize they are madly in love, only to have the book end. How many times I’ve wanted to know the story AFTER the story where we can enjoy the fruits of the lovelorn characters labors. But it is not without its risks…one has to wonder when people connect and fall in love amidst all the drama and turmoil, what will their lives be like once the dust has settled? Will it be blissful, or will it be boring? Well, yes…and yes. Admittedly once Margaret’s and John’s personal and professional drama is resolved (in the story “North and South”), their relationship takes a more mundane turn, which is a bit of a mixed blessing. As much as I enjoyed experiencing this new side of Margaret, I found myself yearning for more drama. For those looking for a beautifully written novel that will revisit a story you loved, then this novel is definitely for you.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Karen Matthews on Aug. 15, 2012 :
E. Journey wastes no time in setting the stage for her part 2 of “North and South” after John and Margaret realize they are in love and the rest of their life awaits them. This was a wonderful, well-written novel that truly captured my imagination and had me eagerly turning the pages. However, I thought that there were times where the narrative from the individual characters went on unnecessarily long, and was being “told” to me instead of having me experience their emotions first hand (telling v. showing). Because of this I felt a certain lack of intimacy with the characters that I would’ve much like to have. But I was still fascinated by the story and thought it to be well thought out and extremely polished. E. Journey is a talented writer and I would definitely be interested in reading more from this author in the future.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Sophia Renee on Aug. 13, 2012 :
It has been many, many years since I’ve read Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, and I admit I’d forgotten much of the story. However I remembered that I enjoyed it, so I was eager to read this continuation of Margaret’s journey in Margaret of the North. Right away I was drawn into the rich and atmospheric world E. Journey described, and was instantly brought to another time and place and felt an immediate connection with the characters of Margaret and John. The author quickly and thoroughly brings us up to speed on the backstory, so it works great as a standalone novel for those unfamiliar with the body of work in which “Margaret” is inspired by. This is a deep and complex read, and one that cannot be rushed. It must be savored and enjoyed as we experience the life and new challenges John and Margaret must face. Although I thought it to be a bit on the long side, I enjoyed this novel immensely and it has even inspired me to re-read North and South again.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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