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The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen…
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The Ladies of Missalonghi (1987)

by Colleen McCullough

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6861913,895 (3.66)54
  1. 00
    The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery (MDGentleReader)
    MDGentleReader: Until I reread them both, I actually confused these two stories. I think that if you enjoy one, you'll enjoy the other.
  2. 11
    The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (glorymom13)
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English (18)  Spanish (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
A delightful story about a shy spinster in an outback town in Australia. The characters are well-defined and the story is a pleasure to read. There is a slight paranormal atmosphere to the happenings now and then in the story, but it all works out in the end.
I've also heard about the suggestion that Ms McCullogh pinched the idea from another story, but quite honestly I don't care. I enjoy her story and have re-read it more than once because it is a 'pick-me-up' in this age of so much violence and sex in most published books. I haven't read the other story and have no interest in getting it, to make comparisons. The Ladies of Missalonghi is good enough for me. I have never heard that the 'other author' (or any of her family members) ever sued Ms McCullough for breaching copyright, and I've never read any kind of denial by Ms McCullogh that the story is a plagiarism either. In the end it's up to each reader to chose which of these 'versions' she reads, and only to offer criticism on that version and leave the courts to sort out the rest. ( )
  dragonflydancing | May 23, 2015 |
Several years into the twentieth century, in the tiny town of Byron nestled somewhere in the Australian Blue Mountains, a shy spinster, her widowed mother and her crippled aunt live in genteel poverty. For thirty-three-year-old Missy Wright, her mother Drusilla and aunt Octavia, life is difficult living as the poor relations of the Hurlingford family - the most prominent family in Byron. Despite the Wrights being allowed to live at Missalonghi - Drusilla's home through marriage - the women are actually victims of the Hurlingford inheritance policy which allows only the male members of the family to inherit all the wealth. In turn, the men heartlessly abuse and dominate the women in their care.

Plain, painfully thin and doomed to dress always in serviceable brown, Missy has limited funds and suffers from periodic bouts of ill health. Her only consolation is her frequent trips to the privately owned lending library in town, where she indulges in her only vice - reading Gothic romance novels. Missy seems resigned to her fate, facing a dreary future until a distant cousin, a divorcée, arrives from Sydney...

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a delightful little story, with a totally unexpected ending, at least for me. I do have a copy of Colleen McCullough's epic saga The Thorn Birds hidden somewhere on my bookshelf, but have never read it. That particular admission probably comes as quite a surprise to many people, but it is the truth: "I have not ever read The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough!"

However, reading The Ladies of Missalonghi is my first foray into Ms. McCullough's work, and it was a relatively quick and easy read for me. Engaging and rather quirky, I give The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough an A! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Nov 19, 2014 |
This is a long time favorite of mine. The courage of the Ladies in the face of grinding poverty is beautiful. Some have noted the similarities between this story and the Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery. There are things they have in common but each story is unique also. There is a ghost in this story and not in the other. This ghost is a major part of the story. No I wont tell you how the ghost affects the story.. Read it for your self, it is well worth you time to do so:) 5***** ( )
  Pebblesgmc | Aug 18, 2013 |
One of the worst cases of plagiarism it has been my misfortune to stumble across, Colleen McCullough's The Ladies of Missalonghi reads like an Australianized version of L.M. Montgomery's Canadian classic, The Blue Castle. Lest my fellow readers think that I am overzealous in defending the honor of a book that I freely acknowledge as one of the recurring pleasures of my adolescence, I will offer a point-by-point comparison...

The Blue Castle:

Valancy Stirling, spinster, lives with her mother and her Cousin Stickles...

Part of the Stirlings, a large extended clan that founded & dominates the town of Deerwood...

As poor relations, they must scrape by the best they can,
and Valancy is pitied for being an undesirable Old Maid...

Valancy's secret "guilty" pleasure: Nature Books from the local library...

Valancy suffers from mysterious and recurring pain in her chest...

Rakish outsider named Barney Snaith appears in town, is thought to be an "escaped convict..."

B.S. has a history of being ill-used by his lady love...

Valancy eventually rebels against the stricture of her joyless life, leaves her mother's house, and marries B.S., all while believing herself to be dying...

The Ladies of Missalonghi:

Missy Wright, spinster, lives with her mother and her Aunt Olivia...

Part of the Hurlingfords, a large extended clan that founded and dominates the town of Byron...

As poor relations, they scrape by the best they can, and Missy is pitied for being a plain Old Maid...

Missy's "guilty" pleasure: reading romantic novels from the lending library...

Missy suffers from a mysterious and recurring pain in her side...

Rakish outsider named John Smith appears in town, is thought to be a "jailbird..."

J.S. has a history of being ill-used by his lady love...

Missy eventually rebels against the constraints of her "starved" life, leaves her mother's house, and marries J.S., all while pretending to be dying...

I could go on (there are PLENTY of other examples), but I think the reader takes my point?

McCullough does manage to do a FEW things differently from Montgomery, cutting out the entire sub-plot of the sick friend that the heroine (Valancy) nurses, despite the social stigma of associating with a "fallen" woman. Worthy deeds are apparently more Montgomery's stock-in-trade, whereas McCullough contents herself by "sexing" things up a bit, with a few throwaway lines that the heroine herself doesn't really understand. What's so funny, she wonders, about referring to a young man as "limp?" Also notable is the moment when John Smith considers roughing Missy up a bit in bed, "not rape her exactly, just force her a little"(149), in order to dissuade her from marriage. What could be more appealing in a romantic hero, especially one modeled on my beloved Barney Snaith...?

Somebody, please pass me a blowtorch... ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Jul 1, 2013 |
A sweet tale of three down on their luck ladies and the horrible men that control their lives. Missy's transformation is a lot of fun to read...just goes to show you that with a little magic and a change of attitude dreams can come true! ( )
  melissarochelle | Apr 13, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Colleen McCulloughprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kuyper-Snel, Mariëlla deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Mother, who has finally attained her dream of living in the Blue Mountains
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"Can you tell me, Octavia, why our luck never seems to change for the better?"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380704587, Mass Market Paperback)

Sometimes fairy toles can come true-even for plain,shy spinsters like Missy Wright. Neither as pretty as cousin Alicianor as domineering as mother Drusilla, she seems doomed to aquiet life of near poverty at Missalonghi, her family's pitifullysmall homestead in Australia's Blue Mountains. But It's a brandnew century-the twentieth-a time for new thoughts and boldnew actions. And Missy Wright is about to set every self-righteous tongue in the town of Byron wagging. Because she hasjust set her sights on a mysterious, mistrusted and unsuspectingstranger ... who just might be Prince-Charming in disguise.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:32 -0400)

In Missalonghi, on Missy Wright's family's pitifully small homestead in Australia's Blue Mountains, It's a brand new century--the twentieth--a time for new thoughts and bold new actions. And Missy is about to set every self-righteous tongue in the town of Byron wagging! Sometimes fairy tales can come true-even for plain, shy spinsters like Missy Wright. Neither as pretty as cousin Alicianor as domineering as mother Drusilla, she seems doomed to a quiet life of near poverty at Missalonghi, her family's pitifully small homestead in Australia's Blue Mountains. But It's a brand new century-the twentieth-a time for new thoughts and boldnew actions. And Missy Wright is about to set every self-righteous tongue in the town of Byron wagging. Because she has just set her sights on a mysterious, mistrusted and unsuspectingstranger ... who just might be Prince-Charming in disguise.… (more)

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