I love to read and I'm a fast reader, but a couple of books have really slowed me down lately: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and Villette by Charlotte Bronte. The problem is language, North and South primarily takes place in the north of England in an imaginary town called Milton, research suggests it's supposed to be Manchester. When the characters from that area talk it's all in dialect. I'm no expert and I assume it's some sort of midlands dialect. I thought at first it was a Yorkshire drawl, but if it takes place in Manchester and that's not Yorkshire.
It really slows the story down for me. Instead of breezing along I have to read very slowly to get the meaning of what's going on. I was very frustrated at first and almost gave up on the book, but it's such a good book I couldn't. And I'm glad I didn't, I'm almost finished and it's so good. Reading the dialect hasn't gotten much easier, but I don't mind as much now that I know the characters better. I'll do a review of this book when I finish it.
The other book giving me trouble, Villette, and the problem is because of all the French sprinkled
through it. I guess that most educated people at the time this book was written could read and speak
French, but I cannot. I read and speak Spanish so you can throw Italian and Latin at me and I can pretty much figure things out. I lived in Germany for a number of years and even though I don't speak it well, I usually recognize enough to understand short bits of it. But French destroys and annoys me. I'm not the biggest fan of the Brontes to begin with, but I needed a book written a 100 years before I was born for a book challenge so I chose Vlilette. I'm about half way through it, page 300 and something, and I'll be honest, I'm not sure I'll finish it. I just don't care enough about the main character to go on, I don't care what happens to her.
Are there things in books that give you trouble?