To be honest, this is quite possibly the most depressing book I have ever read. Set in the early 1900’s in New York, it follows two sisters, Ann Eliza and Evelina who own a small sewing shop. Both sisters are single. Then comes along Mr Ramy the clock maker with whom they both fall in love. Ann Eliza is the sister that wins his heart but turns down his marriage proposal because she is “simply not the marrying type”.
So Mr Ramy then decides second best will have to do and proposes to Evelina who readily accepts his offer. She is then swept away by Mr Ramy to far off St Louis leaving Ann Eliza to tend to the shop herself.
Basically from there on, everything goes from bad to worse (but I’ll leave that for you to read about yourself)! For anyone that is thinking of reading this, if you like happy endings then let me warn you that this book is definitely not for you. As disheartening as this book was, I did find that Edith Wharton’s style of writing did not let me put the book down often. She has a unique style that will easily keep you intrigued until the last page. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.