John, who was ambitious, met her advances more than half way, and finally, encouraged by her father, offered her his heart and hand. Under other circumstances, Matilda would undoubtedly have spurned him with contempt; but having heard that her recreant lover was about taking to himself a bride, she felt a desire, as she expressed it, "to let him know she could marry too." Accordingly, John was accepted, on condition that he changed the name of Nichols, which Miss Richards particularly disliked, to that of Livingstone. This was easily done, and the next letter which went to Oakland carried the news of John's marriage with the proud Matilda.
A few months later and Mr. Richards died, leaving his entire property to his daughter and her husband. John was now richer far than even in his wildest dreams he had ever hoped to be, and yet like many others, he found that riches alone could not insure happiness. And, indeed, to be hap
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By mid-novel, the plot becomes very predictable: Of course, 'Lena grows up to be beautiful and accomplished. And, of course, many pitfalls and misunderstandings -- some deliberately fostered by her proud, plotting aunt and other spiteful characters -- lie between 'Lena and true love.
As in many romantic novels of the period, a significant part of the story hinges on the society's opinion of proper behavior for women.
Some minor, but interesting, background covers the life of slaves in Kentucky. The rest left me pretty cold.