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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The House of Hardie by Anne Melville

Young love, idealistic dreams, dreams far removed from what your parents envisage for you and the determination to achieve them form part of the story.

Two families two very different social situations. One in trading, one very upper class. Very unlikely that either family will tolerate a marriage within the two. Lucy is headstrong and Gordon taken quite unawares. Midge had to learn the hard way that a man may not feel the way he behaves and may be very different to what she is expecting.

Midge is ahead of her time. She is clever and wants to be educated. Unfortunately not encouraged by the world in general though her family is supportive. Her idea of teaching and then becoming a Head of a college seems such a feasible idea now. In Victorian England it was far fetched. Midge was determined however and after her disillusionment with Archie she channelled all her energies into her education and career.

In Midge's brother's case despite being expected to take over his father's business, his love of nature drew him to explore the world and he somehow was determined to trek in China seeking for elusive plants and herbs. He did this not expecting the determined Lucy to escape the confines of her home and join him on board the steamer to the Far East. Their adventures are a travel memoir of the difficulties of travel in the time and make for a fascinating read.

The stories of the two separate families and how their lives entwined and how fate played a role is very well depicted.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Agora Books.

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