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Contrary Mary

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Author: Temple Bailey
Published: 1914
Language: English
Wordcount: 86,458 / 247 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 78.4
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,535
Added to site: 2006.03.07 12997

An old-fashioned love story that is nevertheless modern.

Show Excerpt

en; who would lean upon masculine protection, and suffer from masculine neglect.

Of Mary Ballard these things could not be said at once. In spite of her simplicity and frankness, there was about her a baffling atmosphere. She was like a still pool with the depths as yet unsounded, an uncharted sea--with its mystery of undiscovered countries.

The contrast between the sisters had never been more marked than when Mary, leaning over the stair-rail, answered the breathless, "Dearest, where have you been?" with her calm:

"There's plenty of time, Constance."

And Constance, soothed as always by her sister's tranquillity, repeated Mary's words for the benefit of a ponderously anxious Personage in amber satin.

"There's plenty of time, Aunt Frances."

That Aunt Frances was a Personage was made apparent by certain exterior evidences. One knew it by the set of her fine shoulders, the carriage of her head, by the diamond-studded lorgnette, by the string of pearls about her

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.5 from 2 reviews: *****
Leah A. Zeldes

To make ends meet after her sister's marriage, Mary Ballard takes a lodger, Roger Poole, into the house where she lives with her troubled younger brother, their housekeeper, and her aunt as chaperon. Her friends and relatives disapprove -- they want her to marry a childhood friend and be taken care of, but Mary wants to work and make her own way in the world. Roger has his own troubles. Touches of early feminism, and fine character development elevate this novel from routine romances.


When Roger Poole rents the tower rooms of Mary Ballard's house there springs up a special friendship that just might ripen into love. I really liked this book and except for a little sadness at the end it was great.



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