Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A Proper Pursuit

I am finding A Proper Pursuit very interesting. Violet Hayes' interaction with her grandmother and the grandmother's three very different sisters is very entertaining. At the end, I expect that Violet will be a changed woman. First, Violet has to contend with the very religious philantropist grandmother who shares a home with two of her sisters. One sister, Aunt Matt, is a never-been-married suffragist. She reads the newspapers (not very common in 1893), has an interest in politics and is against the institution of marriage and the resulting loss of women's rights. The second sister, called Birdie, is like Betty White's character in the "Golden Girls"; lovable but quite daft. Grandmother's other sister, who lives elsewhere in Chicago, is Aunt Agnes married to adulterous Uncle Henry. She is the rich sister that is determined to find a rich husband from the right social background for her grandniece.

I am on page 139 and so far Violet has picked up four suitors. There is the dull Herman Beckett from her home town. Her stepmother-to-be, Widow O'Neil, is pushing that relationship. Silas McClure, the traveling salesman, has declared his interest by visiting Violet at her Aunts' residence in Chicago but Violet suspects he is a criminal. Louis Decker, a student at the Chicago Evangelistic Society, is showing some interest and Violet's religious grandmother is pleased with this. Rich Aunt Agnes is favoring someone more like the handsome elegant Nelson Kent who will end up working with his Dad in a safe and secure business.

Who will Violet choose? I am eager to find out. The very imaginative Violet is a wanna-be detective pursuing other interests. She secretly wants to find her mother who abandoned her. Also, she wants to stop her father from marrying the Widow O'Neil, whom Violet suspects murdered her previous husband.

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