Cousin Phillis

Read by Elizabeth Klett

(4.2 stars; 550 reviews)

Cousin Phillis (1864) is a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell about Paul Manning, a youth of seventeen who moves to the country and befriends his mother's family and his second cousin Phillis Holman, who is confused by her own placement at the edge of adolescence. Most critics agree that Cousin Phillis is Gaskell's crowning achievement in the short novel. The story is uncomplicated; its virtues are in the manner of its development and telling. (Summary by Wikipedia) (3 hr 46 min)


Part 1, Section 1 24:38 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Part 1, Section 2 29:27 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Part 2, Section 1 31:42 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Part 2, Section 2 25:41 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Part 3, Section 1 24:12 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Part 3, Section 2 19:40 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Part 4, Section 1 32:55 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Part 4, Section 2 37:54 Read by Elizabeth Klett


Abrupt Ending

(3 stars)

As always, Gaskell is a delightful author. She managed to keep my attention through a story that probably would have been boring if written by anyone else. The narrator did a wonderful job as well, and did fun accents for each character. I was dissapointed in the ending though. It felt a little abrupt, and there really wasn't any closure or explanation as to why Paul even tells the story in the first place.

Cousin Phillis...

(5 stars)

... is a beautifully written short novel. The story is uncomplicated, which adds to its effectiveness since one can't lost as I occasionally do in some Victorian novels' multitudinous plot lines. The characters are very skillfully drawn, becoming more complex as the tale unfolds. All in all, a small masterpiece of literature. Digression ahead: I sometimes pick up a book on the Guardian's best seller list and it's interesting to note how rarely (Stephen King excepted) they come up to the quality of a writer like Gaskell who doesn't need gimmicks or deus ex machina. Thank goodness for secondhand book shops and ebooks on Elizabeth Klett is an excellent narrator. I've used up my store of adjectives in previous reviews of her work. Her southern English accents are very creditable to the ears of this native speaker. She even attempts Brummy in this reading which, as a Mancunian, I would never do! TheBookworm (Manchester, UK)

Really lovely..!!

(3.5 stars)

The story of a young teen and her first love was really a treat to read and listen to... Phillis is so full of life but was shattered once she found out her first love married another woman once he had gone away to Canada. Paul from whose pov the narrative is given is very fond of his sweet cousin. Though he was the bearer of both the good and bad news, he couldn't help but stay by his cousins side in the hour of need. really enjoyed this short book and Gaskell never fails to make me fall in love with her works again.

A quietly appealing book and a wonderful reading

(5 stars)

I’ve always liked the work of Mrs Gaskell; and this novella is no exception. It has a quiet charm and a subtle way with characterisation. The plot winds along at a gentle, appealing pace; and the descriptive detail is both vivid and nuanced. As for he reading, Elizabeth Klett is, as always, superb. I chose this book in part because it’s read by her. Her English accent cannot be faulted, and I speak as an English academic; she gets the pitch and tone just right, and she has an almost unnerving skill when it comes to registering the differences between the accents of different classes in our still class-ridden society. She’s one of two Libri Vox readers whose readings I actively search for; she’s that good. I’ve downloaded her readings of works by my favourite novelist, Jane Austen. Although I know Austen’s work almost by heart, I’m very much looking forward to forward to hearing them as read by her.

good character development.

(4 stars)

after read other books by ECG I decided to try this one as it was praised do highly as one of the best works in short stories. I felt like there was little plot. I almost quit halfway through because I felt like it wasn't going anywhere but decided to keep going because the character were well developed. I do admire how the author used a single perspective of an (not very bright) third party to develop characters and tell a story. the reader is phenomenal as always. Thank your Elizabeth Klett! Keep reading. I'm a big fan

Beautifully read, but a sad story.

(1 stars)

The highlight of this book is the narrator's excellent work! I have lots of strong thoughts of the story, though, that are probably best kept to myself. I don't usually review a book if I don't like it, but in case there is someone thinking of reading this that likes a book to end somewhat happily, a word of caution... this has a sad, unresolved ending. The fact that the "critics" applauded it should have been a warning to me. Sigh.

Well read, nice light romance with a very abrupt end.

(4 stars)

A shorter 4 hour listen by a favorite new-found author. excellent i defining the feel, pace, and seasonality of working farms.. then as today for the few that remain. enjoyed the book and characters but the end came quite suddenly...although in retrospect after my annoyance it is, after all not as sharp when reconsidered in the limited time and characters of the novel. well read, by which I mean I forgot there was a narrator at all.

(3 stars)

Frustrating reading. I found too many discrepancies in the depiction of Phillis’s character. As a reader, I felt that the story was not adequately developed to warrant such melodramatic behavior of the main characters. Furthermore, as a reader, I was not able to develop any emotional connection with Phillis - my attitude towards her remained neutral to the end. Idyllic portal of rural life. My conclusion- a very frustrating short story. On the positive note- excellent reading, superb writing style.