the marriage. But what authority has a stepuncle? Susan defied him, with a maximum of unforgettable impoliteness; and she went to live with her husband at Longshaw, which is at the other end of the Five Towns. The fact became public that a solemn quarrel existed between James and Susan, and that each of them had sworn not to speak until the other spoke. James would have forgiven, if she had hinted at reconciliation. And, hard as it is for youth to be in the wrong, Susan would have hinted at reconciliation if James had not been so rich. The riches of James offended Susan's independence. Not for millions would she have exposed herself to the suspicion that she had broken her oath because her stepuncle was a wealthy and childless man. She was, of course, wrong. Nor was this her only indiscretion. She was so ridiculously indiscreet as to influence her husband in such a way that he actually succeeded in life. Had James perceived them to be struggling in poverty, he might conceivably have gone over to them and hel
I was always a fan of Arnold Bennett, especially after I downloaded the Card as an audiobook from this site. This is another of his masterpieces and there are some situations which make you grin at Helen's calm manipulation of her uncle. Well worth a read and one wonders why it was not converted into an audiobook. One could just imagine uncle doling out his money slowly (ooops... I am not going to give away anything here!) Just read it!
Fans of Jane Austen might like this book. It reminded me a bit of both "Emma" and "Pride and Prejudice", and had a light, humorous tone to it. Helen meets her estranged great uncle in a park and makes plans to have some of his wealth for her own. She starts by offering to become his housekeeper, thereby giving up her hated teaching job. She slowly begins to take the "high hand" with him, trying to manipulate him to get what she wants. They both have the same type of personality, so clashes occur with each change Helen tries to make to his household. Although Helen is getting what she wants, the great uncle also unexpectedly benefits in interesting ways that make his life better. Lots of fun, with a happy ending for both.