Review 1717: Joanna Godden Married and Other Stories

After reading Joanna Godden, I was excited to learn there was a sequel. “Joanna Godden Married” is a longish short story or a short novella, in this volume combined with several other stories.

To say much about “Joanna Godden Married,” I must include spoilers for the previous novel. Joanna has sold her farm and moved because of the disgrace of being an unwed mother. She is looking for a new farm to buy as a hobby, determined to devote her attention to her baby son, Martin. But Joanna is a woman of so much energy that being a hobbyist won’t last long.

Most of the other stories are about ordinary people living in the marshlands of Sussex. In “Mrs. Ardis,” a woman on a remote farm hides Peter Crouch for the sake of his friendship with her son after he has shot a gamekeeper while poaching. In “The Mockbeggar,” an old Romany couple encounters an upper-class runaway couple while sheltering in an abandoned house. In “Good Wits Jump,” after working hard to save money for her marriage, Nellie learns her old friend is ill and needy.

Other stories are about a woman determined to break with a careless lover, a Romany family who decide to thank an old farmer in their own way, and a woman who goes to tea with an old lover, perhaps whom she should have married.

I liked these stories, although some were sad. However, after reading a few pages, I did not read the last two, described as “Christian fairy tales.”

Related Posts

Joanna Godden

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

That Lass o’Lowrie’s

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