What was more tedious is that the main character, Rev. Walton (often referred to just as "parson") doesn't seem to know how to listen but he does know how to talk! At first, every conversation he has turns from a two-way into a didactic theological monologue. He gets a little better as the story progresses, but he still really likes to talk.
19th century novels, even when they've been "cleaned up" for "the modern reader" can be kind of slow sometimes, and occasionally the speech patterns are hard to follow if you aren't paying close attention. It wasn't a huge problem, but it was noticeable if I was reading while tired.
Anyway--there's not a ton of action (though there seems to be more disturbing action in Walton's parish than mine!) but there is some interesting character, relationship, and theological/faith development. The third book in the volume is written from the perspective of the oldest daughter and was probably my favorite.
So anyway, if you're looking for a portrait of late 19th century church of england, here it is. If you're looking for theology-in-a-story, here's some. The main theological point is the same as the Shack: trust in God, trust in God, trust in God. Easier said than done, which is lived out by each character in the story at various points. Some of the theology is old and more evangelical than I like, some is unhelpful (telling a dying woman, whose husband just died, that God "chasteneth those whom He loveth") but if you can get past it, the story does move along. It's interesting to think about how people of one class befriend those of other classes, how relationships develop, what faith-friends might look like, etc.
It was a fun read, in other words, but not the kind of book you can pay only a little attention to.