I’ve been a huge fan of Meg Rosoff since she released How I Live Now back in 2004, and although The Bride’s Farewell, isn’t as new as her new novel Vamoose, which I still haven’t gotten my hands on yet, it was the last of her novels to be released here in the States. I’ve read this novel around 6 times, and the last time I read it I wrote a critical paper for one of my classes on the main character, and how she switched gender roles, and was atypical for the time period in which the author was having the character live. Nonetheless, The Bride’s Farewell is an enchanting novel, and in a mere 214 pages you get brought into the characters life, and fall in love, not only with her but the world in which she lives.
At the start of the book, you get introduced to Pell Ridley, who has decided to run away on the morning of her wedding to escape the marriage she dreads. The story from then on is of how she survived leaving the house, as a woman, alone in the year of 1850 something. While there are brief interruptions of her formative life, each one gets its own chapter, and serves mainly as background information, as to how Pell got to that point. For those who have read Meg Rosoff’s other works, Pell Ridley is similar to How I Live Now‘s Daisy, in that she is strong, and opinionated, but entirely different otherwise. While Daisy gives into her love, Pell rejects it, and if you’re looking for a book that is filled with romance and adventure, only one of those things will be fulfilled with this book, and it’s certainly not romance. Pell lived an exciting, life, and the story does not end with her death, but rather a new sort of beginning for her character.
I sincerely hope I haven’t given too much of the book away, but it is one that I have thoroughly enjoyed time and time again, and for fans of Rosoff’s earlier work this book will be a great read, until her upcoming book There is No Dog, which is slated to be released in Spring 2011 in England, is made available to American publishers.