Read The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff Online


On the morning of her wedding, Pell Ridley creeps out of bed in the dark, kisses her sisters goodbye and flees — determined to escape a future that offers nothing but hard work and sorrow. She takes the only thing that truly belongs to her: Jack, a white horse, and small mute Bean who refuses to be left behind. The road ahead is rich with longing, silence and secrets, andOn the morning of her wedding, Pell Ridley creeps out of bed in the dark, kisses her sisters goodbye and flees — determined to escape a future that offers nothing but hard work and sorrow. She takes the only thing that truly belongs to her: Jack, a white horse, and small mute Bean who refuses to be left behind. The road ahead is rich with longing, silence and secrets, and each encounter leads her closer to the untold story of her past. Then Pell meets a hunter, infuriating, mysterious and cold. Will he help her to find what she seeks?With all the hallmarks of Meg Rosoff’s extraordinary writing, The Bride’s Farewell also breaks new ground for this author, in a nineteenth-century, Hardyesque setting. This is a moving story of love and lost things, with a core of deep, beautiful romance.From the Hardcover edition....

Title : The Bride's Farewell
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780141323404
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 186 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Bride's Farewell Reviews

  • Emily May
    2019-03-09 23:44

    So disappointed. I loved Rosoff's 'How I Live Now' and I had high expectations of this book... but no.It was painfully boring, and thankfully short as well because I couldn't wait for it to be over. I think it was meant to be deep and moving but I felt no connection with the protagonist and all the endless talk about horses and farming nearly sent me to sleep.I can't believe the difference between the gripping and rather disturbing 'How I Live Now' and this load of pointless waffle. It didn't work as an important message for growing up and womanhood, it didn't work as a romance, it just didn't work full stop.After my give-or-take attitudes to 'Just In Case' and 'What I Was', I really thought the author might regain some of the magic of her first novel in this book; but I'm now starting to believe that Meg Rosoff exhausted her genius with her first release.It's really quite disheartening.

  • Ceilidh
    2019-03-03 06:49

    I love Meg Rosoff’s work. “How I Live Now” and “Just In Case” were refreshing and vibrant, with a fascinating layer of unease throughout the simple but highly effective prose. Both books received mass acclaim, both from teens and adults, and many literary awards, such as the Carnegie Medal and Printz Award. I highly recommend her first two books to anyone in search of a book that proves YA can be just as moving, surprising and intriguing as anything intended for adults.Unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing for “The Bride’s Farewell.”As always, Rosoff’s prose is wonderful, managing to be deceptively simple but striking and void of overt sentimentality. It’s certainly the strongest thing about this short book but great prose isn’t enough to make a story worthwhile. After a strong start and the initial establishment of a strong, independent heroine, the story quickly loses momentum and dissolves into many paragraphs of exposition and summaries more suited to a “Previously on...” introduction to a TV series than a novella. There is no real strong narrative to the novella; instead, we are left with chapter after chapter describing each unconnected thing Pell does, occasionally meandering off for a little exposition on a barely developed character of no real importance. I can’t blame the short length of the story for this since many wonderful novellas and short stories have been written before this that manage to get in ten times more characterisation and plot. Pell’s introduction started off so strong but quickly fell apart as it felt like Rosoff became bored with her own story and characters. So little time is spent allowing Pell to grow – and the few decisions she does make later on seem at direct odds with her early characterisation - and by the end of the book I felt apathetic towards her fate. I had similar feelings, or lack thereof, towards the supporting cast, who are so thinly drawn they’re transparent. Many of these characters also veered wildly into caricature territory. Almost every man in the story is a philandering drunk who does not care for his numerous children, while anyone who openly talks of faith and God is usually a ranting fool with no regard for kindness or basic human decency. Not only were such descriptions borderline offensive, they were also plain lazy. When the reader is asked to sympathise with one particular case – a man who abandoned his wife and child and only comes back to see his son to teach him to ‘be a man’ and hunt – because he becomes the designated love interest, it’s hard to stomach. My biggest problem with the book came with the story. As I said before, there really is no strong narrative structure to “The Bride’s Farewell” as Pell meanders from one place to another, but almost everything that happens in this story is misery porn. If something’s going to go wrong then chances are it will. Pell is mistreated, mocked, left to starve, robbed, cheated, the whole shebang. Almost every woman that Pell encounters, no matter how long they appear for, immediately mistrusts her or believes her to be out to steal their men with her beauty, another lazy character element that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I am fine with unflinching unsentimentality, many writers have made masterpieces from such plot choices, but here it feels lifeless and completely pointless. Pell doesn’t grow as a character because of these events, she doesn’t become a stronger person (actually, I think she becomes even more downtrodden and submissive than before), so to pack this short book with such defeated angst for no reason feels like bad storytelling. It’s such a disappointment because I know Rosoff is capable of brilliance. Someone asked me if it was worth reading a bad book if it had one truly wonderful redeeming feature, in this case the prose. Even though I think Rosoff is a wonderful writer and her prose is always strong, in the case of “The Bride’s Farewell”, it’s just not worth it. Great prose cannot singlehandedly support lazy characterisation, clumsy plotting and a story that seems more concerned with making its characters miserable than allowing them to truly grow. I cannot recommend Rosoff’s other books highly enough so I recommend you pick those wonderful pieces of YA up to read instead of this one, which I hope is merely a minor speed bump in her career.2/5.

  • Anne
    2019-03-20 03:42

    Beautifully sparce, unsentimental writing. Hauntingly stoic characters, taking charge of their own destinies. Complex plot, rather like a rough roundabout: characters get on, fall by the wayside, meet up again...all have a part to play in Pell's story. And the understated (we never learn what the Dogman's name is!) Pell & he are perfect equals – working quietly alongside each other. No expectations, no force. Rather like animals sharing their existence. Actually the whole novel depicts the countryside as nurturing, even though the weather may be harsh, people become like animals, sheltering and preserving what little food they can, striving for survival.I was surprised by the harshness of the human characters and communities – very small worlds, where neighbours have to conform or they are treated suspiciously. Those who have no place make their own: Esther’s world is her caravan and Pell and Dogman will stay in his cottage. They all have very few needs. It all took me back to reading Thomas Hardy when I was 15! A small, perfect novel - and one that should be read by all vain and materialistic teenage girls!

  • Debbie Gascoyne
    2019-03-01 03:34

    I think both the picture on the cover and the cover blurbs do this rather remarkable and extremely UN-romantic novel a disservice. They make it sound like a rollicking, romantic romp, and those who come to it with those expectations will be sorely disappointed. I admit to beginning it with those pre-conceptions and almost bouncing off it, but because it was Meg Rosoff who is always good and because the writing is spare and compelling I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. The Bride's Farewell tells the story of Pell Ridley, who runs away from home on the eve of her wedding, because she can't face the life she sees in front of her, a life like her mother's, full of children and drudgery. She is good with horses, and sensible and resourceful, but already knows how difficult it is for a pretty young woman without a husband or money to make her way in the world unmolested. She heads to Scarborough Fair to try to make her fortune. All this sounds like a ballad, or a fairy tale, and I think Rosoff knows perfectly well that's what her readers will be expecting. But it's as if she's saying, "um... no. Think life is a fairy tale? It isn't. Here's what it was _really_ like for a pretty young woman from a bad family in the mid-1850s." If this were your conventional romantic romp, Pell would have Adventures and meet some nice handsome young man whom she would spar with for several chapters and then grow to love, as he would learn to accept her independence and attitude, and they'd end up riding into the sunset together. Everything lost would be found again, good would triumph and all would live happily ever after. That is not what happens here. Or not in the ways that you might expect, if at all. It's about real choices. The unbreakable loyalties one has and the breakable ones and how to learn the difference. When to take what is offered and when to move on. How to live with the choices you have made. When someone or something might be better off without you. That matters of the heart are considerably more complex than you might have wanted to believe, or much simpler, perhaps. All this. It's a fine and thought-provoking book, if a little bleak.

  • Alice
    2019-03-17 04:51

    First off, let me say that I am an earnest fan of Rosoff's previous How I Live Now and What I Was. These two works display her ability to create rich characters worth caring about, around whom the story falls in place as a secondary element but a compelling one. I enjoy the voices of the narrators she creates and the voices they have, which are strong, sincere, and witty. So, yes, comparison with these previous works was inevitable. But I would have found The Bride's Farewell lacking without these books with which to compare. With them, I also found it disappointing.The characterisation is bland and hardly touched upon. Perhaps it's because Rosoff is so much duller in the third person, but I found it more to be 'Pell did this, and then Pell did that' instead of the interesting internal narratives, punctuated with good dialogue, that her previous works hook you in with. The plot wasn't exactly fantastic... frankly, that was boring, and I could have tolerated that if Pell was worth caring about. But none of the characters were drawn out, and I found myself ultimately apathetic about their fates. Scenes that should have been touching fell short because the characters involved were so uninteresting.The annoying thing was that it could have been so much more interesting, and glimmers of potential made it all the more frustrating. The romance the cover synopsis dangles in front of you is, again, boring, because it was so unexplored. Emotionally it could have been something very worth looking at (and I know Meg Rosoff is good at making you like her love interests, even if they are unconventional and often inaccessible because of their remoteness), but it wasn't, because I Did Not Care. I cared more about the dog than Pell and her lover!To sum it up, wasted potential. The voice was lacking Rosoff's usual charm and earnestness, the romance was dreary and minor, and with such undeveloped characters, the plot was just intolerably boring. It lacked the oomph (and the provocativeness, though I can live without the shock value) of What I Was and How I Live Now, and it was only the author's name on the cover that made me pursue it to the end, vainly hoping for a sucker punch that would have made it worthwhile.

  • Nicole
    2019-03-01 05:41

    Where's the edge, Meg? Where's the creepy factor? No incest, no abuse, no apocalypse. I hardly recognize you, Meg.Despite it's serious lack of edginess and the fact that I am NOT a horse girl, I actually enjoyed this one. Because it was a Book CLub selection, I had my pen at the ready to take brilliant and thought-provoking notes. And yet. As I turned the final page, my notepad was still blank. I have absolutely no critical thoughts on this book. Not a one. You might be tempted to say it was my shortcoming and not the books...but you would be wrong. I am always critical. I am critical of Sunday comics.Something about this book, for better or worse, defies deep reading. Superficial surface schtuff. I liked it. I liked it enough to keep reading even when she was babbling about her pretty pretty pony. But I have nothing to say on anything beyond the superficiality (which is apparently a word).On the feminist note, I like that she was cool with sex and no commitment. Not sure what to say about going back for the man in the end. Yay she's happy? Or damn, another one bites the dust?

  • Mary
    2019-03-12 23:34

    I loved this and lapped it up in a night, like ice cream. Set in the middle of the 19th century in some wild back of beyond British setting right out of Hardy, it tells a fairy like tale of Pell, a 17 year old bride to be who flees a future that she knows will confine her like a coffin: marriage and "a house full of children." As the eldest daughter of 8 children born to a haggard mother and an abusive "preacher" father, Pell wants nothing to do with such a life, though Birdie, her intended, has been her best friend since childhood, and his family's trade, smithing, has given her a facility with horses that is nearly mystical. So, to save herself, Pell takes off in the night, with her pony, Jack, and her youngest brother, a mute, who will not allow himself to be left behind. They point themselves toward the Salisbury Fair, a renowned horsetrading event, where Pell is sure she'll find work. The story unwinds from here, with adventure and discoveries worthy of Dickens, but told much more economically, and with a healthy dose of feminism.

  • Terri Trimble
    2019-02-24 23:42

    The Bride's Farewell is set in mid-19th century Wiltshire and tells the story of runaway bride Pell. Pell's family is trapped in hopeless poverty, while her husband-to-be Bridie comes from a family that is "hard-working, honest and resourceful". They have been friends since childhood and it's assumed that they will be married one day, but Pell looks at her mother, exhausted from childbearing and disappointment, and rejects the future she represents. Because she can't bring herself to refuse Bridie outright, Pell runs away on the morning of their wedding, taking her white horse and her adopted brother Bean, who insists on accompanying her. But she knows the farrier's craft and has a gift with horses, and these talents will be her currency. Pell's journey is episodic – she meets a gypsy family, the trader Harris, a poacher called Dogman; she loses her horse and her brother and the five pounds she earned at Salisbury fair. Her path crosses and recrosses that of characters she's met earlier as she searches for what she's lost and the story is played out in "an intricate game of hide and seek across Salisbury Plain". Her story is interspersed with flashbacks which recount the history of Pell's family. Although these scenes are vividly evoked, they don't feel necessary and they slow down the story. Do we really need to know so much about Pell's four brothers, all dead before the novel begins?This novel is so beautifully written that its flaws didn't strike me until after I finished it. Pell is a wonderfully resourceful and independent heroine, but her feelings were often murky, and at times I found it difficult to understand what she wanted. The main storyline is her ongoing quest as she searches for what she's lost and tries to find safety and security for her younger siblings, dispersed after a disaster strikes the family home. There is a romantic subplot which could have illuminated Pell's struggle to choose the future she wants for herself, except that her feelings aren't fully explored. The relationship seems to offer a happy balance between companionship and solitude; she feels content and free and allows for "the possibility that her condition resembled love", but I was never sure whether she wanted the relationship or simply accepted it. Although unconventional, it comes to resemble marriage, which she was running away from at the beginning of the story. Near the end of the novel there is a hint that she's pregnant, but it's not clear whether she still dreads the future she saw when she looked at her mother's worn-out body. Is it different because she's found a man she can truly love? Or has Pell's journey simply led her, by a circuitous route, to accept the fate she was trying to escape? The Bride's Farewell came close to being a brilliant novel, but left too many unanswered questions.

  • Paradoxical
    2019-03-03 05:50

    Bleakkkk is pretty much the word I think of when I read this book. The heroine runs away from her impending marriage with a horse and her brother, but life afterward isn't a happy one. It's very bleak and grim and for every half-decent turn, the heroine gets beaten down a little further later. I didn't connect with any of the characters well. Pell shows some fire with her decision to run away, but life has a way of beating you over the head (well, in this book) so that by the end she seems rather indecisive and heavy, like there's this weight on her shoulders that won't go away for the rest of her life (even if it gets alleviated somewhat later). For all that we got an occasional section detailing her brother's thoughts, he remained very one dimensional for me--he's a little boy that doesn't talk. And has a hard life (like the rest of them). The rest of the characters in this book aren't any better, and a great deal of them are rotten people who the reader would probably, gladly, chuck into a raging river. And the love interest? Well, he isn't even given a name and he's very much the epitome of the strong and silent type. He did, however, spark some of my interest--as in, what in the world is that man even thinking behind that bland face?Admittedly, this isn't the type of book you go to for fantastical happenings (other the horse scenes in which Pell is apparently fantastic with them). All in all, it's rather depressing, and for all of Pell's struggles, to have the book end up as it did... Well, it made sense and you really don't expect anything more, but, well, can't blame a reader for wanting a bit more happiness in the main character's life. There are good points to this book though. The writing is really rather lovely, even if you do feel detached from the characters. It's very smooth and made for a quick read. The starkness in the book rings true for life at that time, complete with the desperation and poverty. To be honest, I'm rather on the fence about the book. It was well done, but it isn't, precisely, my cup of tea. And while I'm not the type of girl who needs her romances spelled out to every single letter, the relationship between the main character and her love interest perplexed me. I can see it happening, but something about it makes me twitch at the same time. All in all, I'd give this book 2.5 stars if I could. Since I can't, I rounded my score to 3 stars.

  • Every
    2019-02-22 03:37

    A short, entertaining novel in an unexpected style, with a main character that isn't just a scared little girl.

  • Thebookbutterfly
    2019-03-24 07:25

    I have an unfinished copy of How I Live Now (bookmarked halfway through when I stopped about a year ago and never bothered to pick back up) sitting on my shelf, so I surprised myself when I picked up The Bride’s Farewell.It looks like an easy read~ short and sweet, hinting at the kind of romance that you imagine must be epic with such a classic tale.It is not easy, or short, or sweet.It’s more like~heartbreakingtragicthoughtfulhonestlovely with quiet moments of nostalgia, descriptions that will swirl you up and into Pell’s world of scars and ache and searching, and not only a romance or a tale of families, but an exploration of human’s souls and what, after all is said and done, binds us all to one another.I felt a yearning for Pell’s world because the vivid detail of Salisbury, which you can imagine at the time period, crammed with horses and people and scents. I adored her brothers and sisters~ the quietest of the pack was just as endearing to me as the brashest. Those reminiscences quite simply bled emotion into the story, with that soft yet gradual way as if it didn’t mean to cause such heartache, but just tell the story. Not loud. Not edgy. Not bold or heroic, no shocking impact, just woven in a way that spoke directly to the heart~ but truthfully.I thought that I would be torn between hating/loving Pell for abandoning her wedding and her family in the process, but Pell’s search for freedom was heartwarming and occasionally made me a bit teary. Pell’s voice had the same effect. When she talked of marrying Birdie, she said:I shall bring him his tea and work myself to death by the time I am thirty bearing children and scrubbing floors and working in the fields digging turnips till my hands bleed and my back gives out and everyone urges me to keep on for just one more year, at which point I will die of exhaustion and the meagerness of my own life. I will love him and care for him, will never tell him to get his own tea, or sweep the ashes from the hearth or give birth to his own twelfth child himself.Her determination astounded me, and her honesty often floored me. She wasn’t delusional or wistful~ just brave and strong and even when she was black and blue, with no where to live, she wasn’t someone to pity. Pell is one of my favorite heroines.Bean was absolutely sweet and is dear to me even after I’ve put the book down, and he will sneak into the heart of everyone who opens this book. (Bean is Pell’s little brother :)There is a whole cast of gypsies whom I could revisit every day of my life. This book is going to allow you to taste the cold winds of Nomansland and the warmth of the fire after a long journey. And sometimes it will even make you smile a little, after such heartbreak.It feels like an insult to call this book a romance. It’s a self-discovery, except so much more than even that. It’s finding love and hope and truth, while the whole world is colliding around you. It has a depth and voice to it which everyone will connect~ it may be historical but it will shift your perspective on everything around you anyway.It helps you to picture the women the left their marriages when it was considered unacceptable and socially wrong, to go off in search of their own future, and their own fortune, and not just a romance, but a love and appreciation of the world despite its hardships and heartbreaks.And the horses and dogs that ramble through these pages will charm you. Here’s one of my favorite passages about Jack (her part-Arabian horse) and Pell:For those poor souls who can only think of the terrible fear and danger of a runaway horse, think of this: a speed like water flowing over stone, a skimming sensation that hovers and dips while the world spins around and the wind drags your skin taut across your bones. You can close your eyes and lose yourself in the rhythm, because nothing you do or shout or wish for will happen until the running makes up its mind to stop. So you hold steady, balancing yourself in the wake, and unhook your mind from the everyday while you sit at the silent center of it all and hope that the feeling won't stop till you're good and ready for life to be ordinary once more.This book also evokes the passion that we all have inside of us, hungry for that freedom looming out on the horizon. I knew that I had chosen a good book when a chapter starts:The open road. What a trio of words. What a vision of blue sky and untouched hills and narrow trails heading God knew where and being free—free and hungry, free and cold, free and wet, free and lost.

  • Angie
    2019-02-25 06:47

    When I'm opening up a new Meg Rosoff novel I literally never know what to expect. In a good way. She never tells the same story twice. She does generally center her stories around a character who feels ambivalent, anxious, or sometimes downright disenchanted with his or her world. She explores themes both serious and disturbing and her resolutions are bittersweet at best. And yet I love her writing. She's an auto-buy for me and has been ever since I first read How I Live Now and thought I would come apart at the beauty of that book. Readers who love one of her books and long for more of the same with her other books will most likely be disappointed as they are all wildly different tales, the lovely writing being one of the only things they share. But how rare and fine a thing it is to have an author you can always count on but can never quite pin down.Early on the morning of her wedding day, Pell Ridley sneaks out of the home she's lived in all her life, swipes her dowry money from the teapot, saddles her old horse Jack, and heads for Salisbury Fair. Determined not to become her mother--broken and beaten by a dissolute husband, a host of hungry children, and a hard life in general. Pell won't, she can't, stay and marry her childhood friend Birdie. No matter how much he says he loves her, no matter how many family members and friends are depending upon the match taking place. And so she rides away from it all with only the vaguest notion of finding work at the horse trading at Salisbury Fair. What Pell doesn't count on is her little brother Bean coming along for the journey. Bean doesn't talk, never has, but he seems to know Pell and understand her motives. More than that, he seems to have an essential role to play in what happens to her. She also does not count on the remote Dogman, a poacher she encounters first in Salisbury and once more far away from that place. Of course, nothing goes as it should. In fact, everything that can go wrong does and things get progressively worse as Pell desperately tries to maintain a modicum of control over her own life and, at the same time, not lose the one or two things she considers precious.The thing about each of Meg Rosoff's novels is that they are short but they never feel short. Quite the opposite. They somehow manage to feel quite epic and THE BRIDE'S FAREWELL is no exception. I closed it feeling as though I'd spent years with Pell instead of the few months the story actually covers. The cover of this book reflects the story quite well. Dark, cold, and spare. The image of a lone white horse fleeing away across an open plain. Rosoff does not shy away from the darkness and despair caused by extreme poverty and an utter lack of options a young woman like Pell would have been familiar with in rural England in the mid-1800s. Her single action on the morning of her wedding day inadvertently sets in motion a chain of reactions she remains initially unaware of but the tale eventually comes full circle and Pell is forced to face the consequences of her choice. Some of them are fair. Most of them are not. I loved Bean. I loved Dogman. I loved Dicken the dog. Pell herself is often a mystery and I spent a good portion of the read attempting to see her clearly. It felt as though she was doing the same. She is a girl torn between her responsibilities and the desires of her spirit. THE BRIDE'S FAREWELL is a smooth, at times extremely painful, read. It's hard to watch one bad thing after another happen to good characters. It's hard when they're forced to pay for their mistakes over and over again. But I've learned that with Rosoff it always pays to follow her through to the end. The dark and the dreary are balanced by the truly beautiful writing, the sharp glints of irony, and by the brief but shining moments of perfect understanding and compassion you feel when you're reading.

  • Someoneyouknow
    2019-03-25 07:42

    To be honest, I was disappointed by this novel. I’ve read 2 other books by this author – “How I live now” (one of my favourite YA books) and “What I was” (rather interesting), so I bought “The Bride’s Farewell”, expecting to really enjoy it, but a lot of events and characters in “The Bride’s Farewell” weren’t to my liking . The tone of book is kind of matter-of-fact and bleak. Pell’s journey progressed at a too slow pace for my taste. There was barely any interesting action going on before Bean’s and the horse’s disappearance. Besides, most secondary characters were rather unlikeable too. Sometimes it seemed like the whole world was against Pell – Harris robbed Pell of her money, Robert Ames’ mother and bride couldn’t wait to get rid of her, William (and Eliza too) were selfish brats that terribly mistreated Pell, the Andover’s workhouse owner indirectly caused Bean’s flight and Sally’s death, etc. Quite a few times I enjoyed the flashbacks much more than the Pell’s adventures away from home. Meg Rosoff depicted the misery and penury of Pell’s family very well. I really felt for the girls whose life conditions gave them no good prospects for the future. Pell herself was horrified at the very likely image of her life with Birdie : “…I shall bring him his tea and work myself to death by the time I am thirty bearing children and scrubbing floors and working in the fields digging turnips till my hands bleed and my back gives out and everyone urges me to keep on for just another year, at which point I will die of exhaustion and the meagreness of my own life.” No wonder that she decided to flee her home in search of better fortune instead of marrying her beau. Actually, at first I wasn’t very fond of Pell’s character. I think that this archetype (strong independent female protagonist) is overused, and the main character felt one-dimensional sometimes. But with time Pell grew on me. I enjoyed a lot her interactions with Dogman and her determination to find Bean and her sisters. Also, I should mention that I always disliked books that focus a lot on the animals (“White Fang”, for example). I am much more interested in human psychology than in the behaviour and physiology of horses, which we’re swamped with in the first half of “The Bride’s Farewell”. Speaking of animals, I have to admit I was rather fond of Pell’s dog, Dicken. Rosoff portrayed him in such an adorable way! Actually, the main reason why I decided to give three stars to this book was Dogman’s and Pell’s relationship. Dogman is actually my favourite character in “The Bride’s Farewell”. His silence and indifference towards our strong and independent protagonist made him rather intriguing, I was very curious about his past and the reasons why he was so reclusive. Sometimes the romance in fiction strikes me as cheesy/boring/predictable, but I really loved Dogman and Pell as a couple. It was obvious they cared about each other, but still maintained a lot of independence in their relationship. I also liked several other things about “The Bride’s Farewell.” I think the author brilliantly described the dreadful life in workhouses. The starvation, the hard work, very bad living conditions and all of this experienced by children and teenagers horrified me. There was also one scene that made me laugh out loud (the dialogue between Pell and Robert Ames’ brother). The part when Pell came back to her village was really well-written, it was tragic and the twist with Esther having burnt Pell’s house which resulted in her parents’ deaths made me gasp with shock.The ending was wonderful, in my opinion. The depressing story of Pell’s misfortunes ended (mostly) happily. I was glad that despite all her losses (parents, most of her sisters, brother, favourite horse) she found love and a new home in the end.

  • Jessica
    2019-03-05 07:26 Rosoff’s novel The Bride’s Farewell has the ingredients of a fine story: a scenic rural setting and a headstrong heroine mix with the author’s refined prose in a tale of self-discovery. Ultimately, the story is just fine. Okay. But for a writer of Rosoff’s caliber, being mediocre is an unexpected disappointment.Rosoff’s previous works, including the award-winning How I Live Now and the haunting What I Was, evidence her ability to craft complex, memorable novels. In comparison, her latest offering can only be described as simple and underwhelming.After watching her mother’s spirit wither from the burden of a no-good husband, too many children, and not enough money, young Pell Ridley shuns the role of doleful wife. On the morning of her wedding day in “eighteen hundred and fifty something,” Pell steals away into the rural English countryside. Her prized white horse and young, mute stepbrother as her only companions, Pell chooses the unknown over certain misery with naïve optimism:The open road. What a trio of words. What a vision of blue sky and untouched hills and narrow trails heading God knew where and being free—free and hungry, free and cold, free and wet, free and lost. Who could mourn such conditions, faced with the alternative?Of course, her optimism soon leads to disappointment. Turns out hungry, cold, wet, and lost make for a less than tolerable journey. Over the course of the short book, Pell faces countless setbacks and curious characters, eventually forcing her to grow up, accept responsibility, and open herself to love.The book suffers from an overabundance of melancholy in tone. The scenic rural landscape, while elegantly described, casts a gloomy shadow over an already bleak plot. Characters reveal their callousness, tragedies strike, and Pell’s spirit wavers. Though she remains a willful and resilient protagonist, a distinct sadness looms about her.One could argue that Pell’s cheerlessness is justified, given the time period and circumstances. Rosoff deliberately embraces stark realism, lending the book a tone of authenticity. After all, women of the mid-nineteenth century suffered oppression and injustices inconceivable to modern readers. Pell’s prediction of her intended marriage is melodramatic but sincere: I shall bring him his tea and work myself to death by the time I am thirty bearing children and scrubbing floors and working in the fields digging turnips till my hands bleed and my back gives out and everyone urges me to keep on for just one more year, at which point I will die of exhaustion and the meagerness of my own life.Pell’s disheartened attitude swells throughout the novel, as she experiences loss and disappointment. When something good—or at least not terrible—happens, she reacts with mild indifference. After losing everything and everyone of value to her, she eventually reclaims something resembling a stable life. Still, Pell exhibits little evolution of character, her defiance fading into tired submission: Incessantly, it seemed, life plagued her with responsibilities, made her fall in love, ripped away any consolation she might find. Sisters and parents, brothers and horses… All staked their claim on her, each conspiring to weigh down her soul… Every day brought unwanted connections, losses, and complications that broke her heart.The somber and defeated tone weighs down a story that could have been more exciting and inspiring. Rather than offering a moment of escapism via historical fiction—the book features exotic gypsies, a handsome and brooding hero, and a rustic setting—The Bride’s Farewell depresses readers. Not even Rosoff’s exceptional writing could save this downer.

  • Palateenbrary
    2019-03-14 03:53

    See the review on our teen blog! http://palatinelibraryteens.blogspot....In Meg Rosoff's latest book, The Bride's Farewell, readers are transported to rural England in the 1850s. The book begins with a gallop, literally, and the pace never slows from page one. Pell Ridley is a runaway bride, and on the morning of her wedding, she takes her trusty horse, Jack, and rides away from a future of toil and child-rearing and into a future of uncertainty and adventure. Except that Bean, her mute younger brother, stubbornly insists on joining her. And so the unlikely trio of heroes face the open road together.Pell is a fiercely independent heroine, and sometimes a bit too hard-headed, which gets her into trouble. But, she does have one talent: she knows horses, meaning she can discern their nature and temperament with just a glance. Trained from a young age by the local blacksmith to raise horses, Pell thinks her experience will help her find work at the Salisbury horse fair. With that vague destination in mind, they set off, having never been far beyond the limits of their small, impoverished village.While reading the story, I couldn't help but be reminded of the limited freedom women had back then (and continue to have, in some cases). For instance, townsfolk make all kinds of presumptions about the moral character of an unaccompanied young woman traveler with a small child. Pell is also paid much less whenever she finds work because she is female. She also has little or no education, since her father only provided formal schooling for his sons. Growing up, Pell saw her mother waste away under the burden of raising nine children without support from her drunken husband, and says to herself, "Not now, not ever." Even though she knows she could love Birdie (her fiance and childhood sweetheart), she knows the lack of freedom would kill her spirit in the end.Although the book is short, it has an epic, sweeping feel, like one of Robin McKinley's novels. (It's almost The Hero and the Crown--fiesty, unconventional heroine with a white horse, minus the dragon-slaying, of course). The sights and sounds of the bustling Salisbury fair give you glimpses into a bygone era, and the author describes the milieu of gypsies, traders, and horses with such description that you wonder if she had been there herself. When Bean becomes separated from Pell and she faces all kinds of hardships, you can't help but feel lost with despair along with Pell. But, you also keep hoping, right along with her. This is a great read for young adult and adult escapists, dreamers, and adventurists.I'll end with one of my favorite passages from the book that best defines Pell's character: "For those poor souls who can only think of the terrible fear and danger of a runaway horse, think of this: a speed like water flowing over stone, a skimming sensation that hovers and dips while the world spins around and the wind drags your skin taut across your bones. You can close your eyes and lose yourself in the rhythm, because nothing you do or shout or wish for will happen until the running makes up its mind to stop. So you hold steady, balancing yourself in the wake, and unhook your mind from the everyday while you wait at the silent center of it all and hope that the feeling won't stop till you're good and ready for life to be ordinary once more.The problem being that she never was."

  • Sheila
    2019-03-18 00:33

    When my aunt handed me her copy of this book not five years ago, she told me that she can't fathom what the award-winning author, Meg Rosoff, wanted to say when she created the story of Pell Ridley. Now that I've read the first 90 pages and instinctively skimmed the remaining 95 pages, I can understand her meaning. I even looked at the publishing reference to find out which publishing house bought the rights to this book (Penguin Books) out of mild amusement and a bit of disbelief that a book with very little depth and magic can actually be published. On the cover of The Bride's Farewell are the promising words of the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon: Magical and utterly faultless. Rosoff's grammar was definitely faultless, but to describe her fourth novel as magical would be an inaccuracy. Here's why. The story is about Pell Ridley, a runaway bride who, with her adopted brother, Bean, went to a horse fair in Salisbury to look for work. Bean, who was mute, does not make a good companion for the journey so there was very little dialogue between the siblings along the way. There was also little urgency to speed along or to hide. No worries of being discovered by their father in the next town. Brother and sister and their horse, Jack, moved along like it was the most ordinary thing to do on the morning of Pell's wedding. The first sign that told me this book is not for me is when Rosoff described almost everything that Pell saw on the road to and at Salisbury, a method that writers use to set the mood of the story, except that she filled every chapter with meaningless observations of life at the fair, not images that actually tell something about the time and place or at least move the story along. For readers like me who search for more insight about the characters and their motivations and the world they live in, that can be a bit hard to take for two reasons. First, there's nothing original about describing what is happening in the environment especially when the character has nothing to offer than superficial commentary. Second, it is boring to be reading about what a character managed to eat every night at a fair and how comfortable or not she is in her makeshift dwelling. The second sign that this book is not for me is the seeming lack of plot. Is finding out that her childhood home was burned down a plot? Is losing her brother, Bean, at the fair a plot? Obviously not, but that's all that was happening in the story that remotely drives Pell to do what she needs to do. They are not enough to make me curious about what happens in the next page because they don't reveal anything about Pell or the complexity of her love for her family. It's frustrating to read a character you can't know very well through her thoughts or actions. Even at the end, I don't know if Pell wanted to get married to the hunter she met. Does she love him or does she just need him to survive?Overall, there's no fairy tale magic here, but just a lot of unexpressed and unexplored depth of emotions.

  • Adrianne
    2019-03-20 00:25

    I was debating wether to give this 2 stars or 1, and i decided that i was only going to give it 2 because i hate giving bad reveiws and hardly ever do, so considering how bad this review is, the story must be really bad!!Things i liked:1) How all the characters kinda linked together some how, as you went along2) . . . That it eventually ended!!Things I Didnt Like:1) There was no introduction2) Nothing happend3) It needed to be ALOT shorter4) I never actually fount out why she didnt want to marry birdie, at first i thought it was bcause she didnt like the whole guy owns girl thing but then she went and married dogman anyway (at least i think she did i may have made that up myself to try and improve the story!!! Someone tell me if it is true!!)5) Halfway through pell seemed to forget shed lost the horse and bean, and i loved bean, so that really annoyed me!!6) She acted like she was posh, but apparantley she wasnt7) The whole story was her walking around not really heading anywhere, she spent a few nights on the street but apart from that she had people looking after her and letting her stay at their house (this was totally unbelievable) and then would just walk out on them and never say thank you!8) NOTHING HAPPENEDOverall it was really quite bad and im annoyed that this got on the carnegie list and the sky is everywhere didnt :(

  • Diane
    2019-02-27 02:43

    In The Bride's Farewell, by Meg Rosoff we meet Pell Ridley. Pell is one of nine children who decides to run away on the morning of her wedding rather than go through with her marriage to a local blacksmith. Pell takes her horse Jack, her youngest brother Bean, who is mute, and some money that was saved for the wedding and, takes off for the horse fair hoping to make it on her own.Pell is strong , smart and independent, and she seems to know what she she wants in life. She witnessed her mother's marriage to an alcoholic husband, and the difficult life she had trying to raise so many children. Pell knew for herself she wanted more out of life. (I really liked this about Pell considering this story took place in the mid 1800's in rural England).I thought the cover of this book was gorgeous. The character of Pell was well developed, the historical detail was good, but as for the rest of the story and characters -- something seemed missing to me. Even though this was a relatively short book, it was a somewhat unsatisfying read for me -- just so so. However, if you enjoy historical novels, horses, and/or a story with a bit of romance in it, then don't go by me, this book may be just the book for you. This book will be published on August 6, 2009. 3.5/5 stars

  • Sandy
    2019-02-25 23:32

    I started this book as an audio CD, then picked up the hard copy as the library as I got caught up in the story and didn't want to wait until the next driving opportunity. It was well narrated by a woman named Susan...? The story was good. Not complicated or sophisticated but I liked the main character and the back up characters were also well crafted. The book turned out to be YA, although that was not indicated on the CD. As a YA book, l'd recommend it to young girls as it is a strong story about taking your life into your own hands and accepting the difficulties and consequences of that course of action. It also drew one in to the reality of the lives of the very poor in the middle 19th century in the UK, particularly the limiting roles and hard choices for women of her standing. Pell is a brave young woman who won't let herself get trapped as her mother did. The consequences of her rebellion against that trapping are harsh but then so is the trap and seeing both sides of this is good for any young girl.

  • Sorrel
    2019-02-24 04:39

    Meg Rosoff's books, in my experience, always seem to have a surreal sort of feel to them. The Bride's farewell was no exception. Told in a time not-quite-specified, beginning in a town called Nomasland and featuring characters that somehow, using the slightest amount of words, are full and real in your mind. In light, almost indifferent writing, the story of the main characters unfurls and comes to life. I loved the way Pell was written. You didn't get the feeling that the author was trying to make her something, trying to make the reader think certain things about her, trying to make her perfect. She didn't feel like a tool to tell a story either, she just felt like... a person?I think the word to describe this book would be charming. Slowly and unashamedly, in the space of 200 pages or so, it burrows it's way to your soul and entwines around your heart. So, so good.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-21 06:28

    This quiet little gem from Rosoff is a rural Victorian England coming of age tale told in a fairy-tale tone, sans magic. Teenage Pell abandons her large farm family the morning she is to be married to a neighbor boy, taking only her favorite horse and her mute little brother Bean. After losing both the horse and the boy through a deal with an unscrupulous man, she scours the countryside for them while taking on various odd jobs to fund her quest, never losing faith that they will be reunited. Rosoff's clean spare writing, full of rich detail about horse care, Gypsy caravans, dairy farms, hunting, and trading completely absorbed me, and the book read like a cross between Lanagan's Tender Morsels and Tinti's The Good Thief. Warming and completely satisfying.

  • Tamra
    2019-03-16 07:51

    What a strange little book. The premise was o.k. - poor girl abandons her family and home the night before she is to be married to poor village boy and tries to make it on her own in the overwhelmingly unforgiving and harsh world of 18th century England - but I didn't like that the author never fills you in much on the character of the man she's abandoning, her relationships with her family members and how there just isn't that much emotion or feeling in any of the story. The writing was very dull and and unemotional and although there was a time or two that I sympathized with the main character, Pell, for the most part I found I just really didn't care much where this book ended up. In fact, for such a short book I found I had to plod my way through much of it waiting for it to end.

  • Fijke
    2019-03-11 00:54

    I adored this book. It reads a little bit like a fairytale. I'd recommend it to anyone. There are elements of a love story in it and it's very sweet but in a very unsentimental way. The main character and her love interest face problems, but these are mostly problems of a practical nature and they're not the kind of people who sit around sighing, longing for each other and waiting for their problems to solve themselves. The characters are rational and able to think on their feet, which I thought was very refreshing in a love story. It made them very likeable to me and it made story fast-paced and interesting. I loved it

  • G
    2019-03-22 23:35

    This book shouldn't really be on my 'read' shelf due to the fact that I only go to page 36, but I say if there's justification in stopping then it is fine. The reason I stopped this book was...It was boring.Simple as.Nothing happen, and it know I only got a fifth of the way in but the fact that when you looked at any page there was NO dialogue was just off putting. There were just huge chunks of text, waffling on about Pell and her horse. Would you really want to read that?Really?

  • Gaby
    2019-03-10 07:39

    2.5Es el primer libro que leo de Meg Rosoff y probablemente sea el último. No fue en absoluto lo que esperaba (y no en el mejor sentido). No me pareció una historia juvenil, ni muchísimo menos infantil. Es cruda pero sin llegar a ser conmovedora. Pell fue un personaje con un inicio prometedor pero rápidamente decayó y, aún cuando comparto muchos de sus ideales, no logró convencerme. Su "final" (al fin y al cabo) fue exactamente el que tanto trató de evitar (view spoiler)[(solo que sin boda de por medio). (hide spoiler)]

  • Sondra Wilson
    2019-03-07 00:46

    Just started this last night and am 1/3 of the way through this novella (only 200pages). The chapters are brief, the story unravels in small pieces. It suits my attention span. Finished. This is quite the story of suffering and making due. The heroine is a real trooper. Nothing seems to go as she plans but she continues to come up with new plans and work it out as she goes. I can appreciate that concept.

  • Jade
    2019-03-03 07:40

    Great story, written quite well. I felt engaged with the main character and all the feelings were heartfelt throughout her journey. It's not a book I'd read again, however it is a good enough story to recommend to others. At no point did I lose patience, the plot is nice and fast paced. Heart breaking sort of story but kind of teaches you that what will be, will be.

  • Jordan Lammert
    2019-03-16 04:34

    It reminded me of Gone with the wind at times.

  • Eden
    2019-02-26 01:44

    I have... no idea really what to think of this book. The first pages start off well as Pell runs off in the middle of the night to escape marriage. But then it all just gets so dull and drags on and just.... depressing. So much misfortune, thinking back it kind of reminds me of things that happen in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Thing after thing goes wrong, and the story also jumps around from where she is in the "present" to her situation growing up. The narration even occasionally slips into another character's perspective. It just... drove me kind of nuts and halfway through (even though it's a fairly short book) I was ready to give it away or do anything to get the book away from me. But I had to know if it got at all better somehow. And you know what? It did. But only at like two thirds of the way through. Finally some hope kind of poked through the gloom of poverty and misfortune that defines Pell's life. It tanked a bit after that, but eventually became a gradual increase in... "good"? It just eventually got better. Definitely not a picture perfect ending, but it ends with some satisfaction and the prospect of happiness. Or if that's a stretch, at least contentment. And I appreciated that despite the fact that Pell is walking throughout England (to an extent), the story manages to have a "what a small world!" quality to it when the different perspectives are given. Soooo I begrudgingly have a better opinion of the book after finishing it. But where does this leave me in terms of opinion on whether I like it or not? Heck if I know. The first pages were maybe a 3 for me, where I thought this was supposed to be a great story so I was holding out hope even if I wasn't overly impressed yet. Then, not going to lie, this tanked to a 1 star read for me. If the book had been longer, I probably wouldn't have continued reading it. But since it was so short, I figured why not see where it's all going and if it improves at all? And it did! I would give that ending between 3 and 4 stars. The story just took too long to come together to really up my interest and overall regard for the book. So I guess, overall, that kind of leaves me with giving this book... 3 stars? Hmm maybe 2... I'm definitely swayed by the good old recency effect, where my enjoyment of the ending is more prevalent in my mind than the suffering I felt I was going through during the middle portion of the book. Given that Goodreads judges a 2 at "it was ok" and a 3 at "I like it," I'm going with a 2.

  • Mariam Abdel-Razek
    2019-03-11 00:33

    What does one expect from a Meg Rosoff book? Really, nothing - except the unexpected. Rosoff specialises in introducing you to characters, plots, themes you think you've seen before, then surprising you with them, like the most beautiful slap to the face you will ever experience. She never patronises her readers with black and white or good or evil - her worlds are grey, sharply realised, vividly written. Slim, rich, strange, wonderful...Meg Rosoff never hesitates to give classic teen fiction the middle finger, and she does it with style every single time.