The Dwelling Place
Now, in all honesty when this one started I thought: whew! This isn't so bad! This isn't nearly as melodramatic as Tilly Trotter and Rag Nymph
Ha! was I foiled. You have a good, solid hour of seeming historical normalcy: a young woman whose parents die in the cholera epidemic who, rather than undergo inevitable separation from her brothers and sisters at the Workhouse, moves them into a cave dwelling and tries to make ends meet. Her little brothers work for an abusive foreman down in the mine and her sister goes into service.
Five mouths to feed isn't an easy task for strong Cissy; but she has the mental and emotional support of Matthew Carpenter ( TITUS PULLO...with hair!) who loves her to distraction and helps her build a roof for her cave and stuff and even promises to marry the miller's daughter so he can provide employment and apprenticeship for her brothers.
Nice, misguided guy with heart of gold----girl overcoming odds to keep her family together with virtue and resolve--- OBVIOUSLY these two will go over and under several plights of hills and rocks and crags but finally find romance and happiness.
Heck, no, people. This is Catherine Cookson's genius. This isn't a fuzzy Easter bunny story; not before the first hour is up and Cissy has a pail of fresh, white milk swinging at her side then she is RAPED by Lord Fischel's snotty son Clive while HIS SISTER WATCHES for NO REASON except they are kinda mad because her brother was trapping on their land and she protected him and OH NO! the overturned MILK bucket is now a SYMBOL of her lost virginity.
|I am sweet and a carpenter and you think I am gonna be all Joe Gargery--but I am ACTUALLY USELESS|
Anyways, Lord Fischel is all "you are going to sea for raping a girl, young man" and so Clive goes to sea. Cissy is pregnant with an illegitimate child and it all goes to Hades in a handbasket.
Matthew is trapped in a horrible marriage and his wedding day is, coincidentally, the same day that Cissy gives birth to a little boy.
Of course, Lord Fischel is all: this is my grandson! I sent my son away! I need an heir! Bring him to me and Cissy sacrifices and does and then is really sad.
Matthew is all: I love you! and Cissy is all: WTF? I can't deal with this! you're married! I lost my baby! I was raped! I LIVE IN A CAVE! your martyrdom it's like.... dude..... this is all lost on me.
Anyways, Clive comes back a changed man and genuinely feels badly about raping Cissy. And Cissy his a voicebox for the Cookson mantra and says something like: "The only reason that you raped me Clive is because you are rich and I am poor and if we all were rich and not hungry and didn't live in caves then there would be no crime"
And then Clive's conniving sister conspires to take the boy away and hide him and so she goes to Cissy's cave with a gun. And Cissy, over the moon because Clive dropped off her son that morning, is all "YOU WILL NOT TOUCH HIM! DON'T TOUCH MY BOY" and Clive's conniving sister is all " I AM GONNA KILL YOU" and Clive shoots his sister from afar. With his hunting rifle. Because, that's how things go down. So, RECAP: first, Clive's sister encourages Clive to rape a fair maiden with a milk bucket then LATER Clive kills said sister with a rifle to save the fair maiden (actually former maiden ) and .....then ....incidentally MATTHEW shows up ( late as per always)
Anyways, it seems to be ironing out with 15 minutes left on the Netflix timer.... but.....
IT GETS ALL STELLA DALLAS because Cissy LISTENS to her toddler when he says "I don't like you" and she is heart-broken and gives him back to his grandfather ( because toddlers, as I understand it, never throw tantrums and of course his dislike is true and inherent and he will never like her again or change his mind.)
And Cissy goes back to her cave and Clive is all "I know I raped you; but I was wondering if you wanna get married and forgive me. But, I kinda think you love Matthew."
Cissy: " Matthew? hruasdfjkasd jfkasd jfkl j! HARUMPH! like, he is EONS too late to this party and already married and stuff...."
Clive: "Cool. So, let's let bygones be bygones and we can hook up? I mean, without my forcing myself on you in a violent and horrible way?
Cissy: "sure. I mean, what have I got to lose but this cave?"
I just... I can't even.....