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This 19th century novel is based on the very peculiar premise of a man selling his wife and daughter to a stranger for five guineas. Though this was probably as preposterous when the novel was written as it is now, the result is surprisingly coherent and pertinent.
Indeed, though somewhat predictable, the plot is well conceived with no loose ends left in the end. Clearly, unlike so many of say Dickens’ novels, this work was carefully constructed from the start.
The changing relations between characters as their relative status evolves are the true theme of this work. This strikes a bell with respect to our own times not only because of changing family relations through divorce and remarriage but also of promotions, demotions and restructuring in the workplace.
Overall, this enjoyable work is warmly recommended to all.