Elizabeth Gaskell - Wives & Daugthers
[UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK WITH TEXT]
The story revolves around Molly Gibson, only daughter of a widowed doctor living in a provincial English town in the 1830s.
The novel opens with young Molly Gibson, who has been raised by her widowed father, visiting the local 'great house'. Molly feels tired, so she is sent to rest in the former governess's room. The woman, Clare, makes noise about her own kindness to Molly, but is actually quite careless and thoughtless of Molly's concerns. The afternoon passes and Molly is forgotten by Clare, therefore missing her ride home after the picnic. The little girl is distressed at the idea of staying the night away from home and is relieved when her father comes to collect her.
Seven years later, Molly has become an attractive and rather unworldly young woman, which arouses the interest of one of her doctor father's apprentices. Mr Gibson discovers the young man's secret affection and sends Molly to stay with the Hamleys of Hamley Hall, gentry family that purportedly dates from the Heptarchy but whose circumstances are now reduced. There she finds a mother substitute in Mrs. Hamley, who embraces her almost as a daughter. Molly also strikes up a shy friendship with the younger son, Roger. Molly is aware that, as the daughter of a professional man, she would not be considered a suitable match for either of Squire Hamley's sons. The elder son in particular, Osborne, is expected to make a brilliant marriage after an excellent career at Cambridge: he is handsome, clever and more fashionable than his brother. However, it is later revealed that he has performed poorly at university, which breaks the hearts of his parents. Molly also accidentally discovers his great secret: Osborne has married for love, to a French Roman Catholic ex-nursery maid, whom he has established in a secret cottage...