“I don’t want to die,” he whispered. “I’m afraid,”
This book covers approximately 1874-1884, and its another of those books in the saga which manage to cram in so much within their pages. The overarching story continues with the master of Morland Place, George, his wife Alfreda and their marital complications as they try to keep up with the wealthy set of society and also rebuilding Morland Place, among other narratives such as when the ambitious Venetia Fleetwood calls off her wedding, plunging her family into a torrent of scandal.
This was one of the middling ones – neither good nor bad. I constantly couldn’t believe how stupid the characters of George and Alfreda were, refusing to scale back their lifestyles or spending habits while their debts mounted.
There were births and deaths aplenty in this entry of the saga. I just felt very resigned when I finished reading the book, weary at the inevitability of life. The story also showed how unkind society could be when people’s reputations took a turn for the worst, while also being overtly concerned with the opinions of people whose elevated statuses in society were due to arbitrary power structures and uncertain fortunes.
While this was not one of the best books, it was not one of the worst either. It just made me feel so incredibly sad, for all the wrong reasons. That being said, its mention of Votes for Women, and the emergence of contraception was interesting and informative.
MY RATING: ***.5 / *****