Maggie Browne, the daughter of a deceased clergyman, is encouraged to give up her own life and passions and devote herself to her brother Edward. Through the example and guidance of her mother—who dotes on Edward constantly—and her mentor, Mrs. Buxton, Maggie learns that self-sacrifice is the key to living a fulfilled life. The precursor to and arguably the template for George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss, this feminist masterpiece begs the question How much personal happiness can one forgo in the name of duty and devotion to another? Maggie’s love story, Edward’s perfidy, and the dramatic conclusion at sea all blend together seamlessly to make this story a timeless tale.
This was a great classic. I enjoyed the characters, rooted for Maggie and Frank, despised the unloving mother, and was torn over what to think of Edward. The imagery in the book is beautiful-you feel like you are there in the cottage, at the thorn tree with Maggie and feel the wind off the moor. Someday maybe I’ll really get to experience the moors for myself! A triumphant feel good story. I give it 4 stars.