Weak gothic novel by J. Sheridan le Fanu. It seemed rushed and more of a sketch for a future novel. Quite a few of the elements of le Fanu's novel "Uncle Silas" were in this novel. However, I feel that "Uncle Silas" is far superior and should be read instead of this.
Good coming-of-age novel. Although the beginning is a bit slow, it picks up the pace in chapter 20. Told as an autobiography, this novel is more about the characters than about the plot. Although I like some of Dickens' other books better, this book is still worth reading.
Although this novel does contain a romance or two, the real emphasis of the plot centers on the character Ruth Vars. The story shows how she starts as a debutante looking for a rich husband, and slowly changes into a mature woman of strong principles who isn't afraid to financially support herself. The dialogue is realistic and modern for 1916. Women's rights is a topic woven throughout the book, but never in a "preachy" way. The relationships between the characters are interesting, and all of the characters evolve along with Ruth. Excellent writing by the author of "Now, Voyager" and "Stella Dallas".