Sunday, May 14, 2017
Eliza's Daughter didn't impress me, but it's infinitely better than The Third Sister. A disorganized (but mercifully brief) attempt to make Margaret Dashwood a fleshed-out character, it fails miserably. Julia Barrett drags Margaret to Delaford and back and then to Bath, giving her no characteristics other than artistic talent and a vague feistiness. Scenes with Mrs. Jennings's schoolmates (one of whom takes Margaret under her wing, another of whom manages to tame the Middleton children) serve only to pad the novel, and to bring Margaret into a situation I can only describe as Anne Elliot's dilemma with the names changed. Barrett's worst crime, however, is to make Eliza Williams's daughter into a son (who bonds with Col. Brandon).