r mother asked hastily.
She hurried away and Marie followed her to the bedroom, while Osborn stood in the doorway, looking in at the two eager women about their joyous errand. He put his hands in his pockets and smiled. It was pleasant to be involved in the bustle about the precious thing they were unwrapping from swathes of tissue paper. "Be careful, dear," the elder woman kept saying, "there's a pin here." Or "Don't hurry, or you'll have the pleats out of place." And Marie's hands trembled over their task. When all the paper was removed, Mrs. Amber said importantly, "Now just lift it up; give it to me like that; I'll carry it in," but Marie cried: "No, I will," and she threw the gown over her shoulder till her head emerged as from the froth of sea waves, and ran into the sitting-room with it.
Mrs. Amber's eyes were moist with pride. "It's a beautiful dress," she said to Osborn, who had turned eagerly after his girl; "I want her to look sweet. Here, wouldn't you like to take something? Here's the shoes
Wow! What a ride! This book grabs you and won't let go! It is visceral. Pretty, delicate little Marie Amber marries big, strong, and handsome Osborn Kerr in a blissful cloud of princely dreams fulfilled. A life of everlasting joy will be hers, and at first it seems to be the case. Osborn pets and cossets her in just the way she has always known that she should be admired and adored. But then...things begin very slowly to unravel. Money matters loom large. Osborn is very used to having his own life just the way he wants it, and things can't help but change.
This is a feminist work. Male readers will most certainly be appalled. Osborn is painted with a heavily tarred brush. May Edgington slowly unwinds the layers of his personality to reveal him as little more than selfishness incarnate. I know it sounds a bit over the top, but there is not a married woman alive (I don't care how wonderful your marriage) who won't relate on some level to this relationship. Slowly, insidiously, the marriage closes its eyes to its bright beginnings. Like I said, it is a woman's book—you live and breathe with Marie. The writing is wonderful, sometimes inspired. It is a stunning work. You hold your breath while watching this lovely young woman lose herself and then fight to regain her individuality and throw off the tyranny that threatens to destroy her. Osborn never has a clue, and yet, he is a fully-drawn character feeling unjustly tried by life. It is more than fascinating to watch them come to terms with themselves and each other. A brilliant work—more than that, it is a masterpiece of feminist writing that holds up nearly one hundred years after it was written.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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