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The story opens with Valeria Brinton marrying Eustace Woodville over the objections of Woodville's family. Soon after the wedding Valeria becomes uneasy and starts to suspect her husband is hiding something from his past. Her suspicions are confirmed when she finds he has been using a false name. Collins used his experience studying law to help create one of the earliest female sleuths.
Hutchinson makes a compelling story out of a difficult subject; an unhappy marriage, a divorce, and an unwed mother who commits suicide.
The book was almost immediately adapted as a film, and also republished in the 1940's.
Set in the world of authors, artists, and their patrons this novel explores the conflict between art for art sake and art for profit and fame.
It was quite controversial in it's day; some accusing Wright of preaching and others supporting his observations.
Tarkington was a widely read and prolific multiple Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and dramatist.
The story uses a tale of two families following different trajectories but linked by romance to provide a glimpse of the changes induced by industrialization and urbanization.
An epic novel set against the construction of the Union-Pacific Railroad between 1864 and 1869 and the introduction of the telegraph.
Full of wonderfully drawn characters and a central romantic thread.
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