A life-sketch of an undistinguished introspective English woman whose twisted psychology makes her renounce her lover and leads inevitably to hardships and denials for everyone associated closely with her, while she keeps her righteous justification of all she does and is. The richness and fullness of humanity pervades every page. It is May Sinclair at her firmest and deepest, and there is genius in it.
ut her eyes, squeezing the lids down, frightened. But when she thought of the lane she could see nothing but the green banks, the three tall elms, and the red campion pricking through the white froth of the cow's parsley; her mother stood on the garden walk in her wide, swinging gown; she was holding the red and white flowers up to her face and saying, "Look, how beautiful they are."
She saw her all the time while Connie was telling her the secret. She wanted to get up and go to her. Connie knew what it meant when you stiffened suddenly and made yourself tall and cold and silent. The cold silence would frighten her and she would go away. Then, Harriett thought, she could get back to her mother and Longfellow.
Every afternoon, through the hours before her father came home, she sat in the cool, green-lighted drawing-room reading Evangeline aloud to her mother. When they came to the beautiful places they looked at each other and smiled.
She passed through her fourteenth year sedately,
Obviously written under the influence of James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, this is a short but incisive analysis of English class and character of the Victorian era. Highly recommended.