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With a keen sense of time and place, Patrick Gregory takes Elizabeth from unsure girl on unfamiliar soil to resilient matriarch. The poignancy of her story lies in its commonality, with its youthful hopes and soaring ambitions, followed by disillusionment and unexpected turns of fate. If Elizabeth's life ends in obscurity, it nonetheless acquires a certain nobility through her persistent efforts to wrest meaning from her experiences.
In its broad sweep and old-fashioned realism, this novel harks back to Willa Cather and Sherwood Anderson. Yet its voice and its vision are distinctly of our time.
|Prologue: London, 1849||1|
|Clarksville, Iowa, 1929||215|
|Epilogue: New York City, 1942||237|