Consequences by E.M. Delafield
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Such an appropriate title for the what happened to young girls in Victorian times and the way they were brought up.
Alex Clare is one of 5 in a well-to-do family in Victorian England, and is mainly cared for by the family nurse. She longs to develop a close bond with a parent but finds it impossible, due to the strict schedule of what is deemed appropriate for children. Her spirit strikes out at her loss and lands on the heads of her siblings. She is sent away to school at a convent where she again strives to find one who will bond with her.
After returning home and her "coming out" into society at age 18, she thinks she will soon find out what it is that she has been waiting for in life by finding one to love and a life of fulfillment as an adult. A short enagagement to the first young man she knows ends in disaster and more disillusionment. She decides to enter the church as a nun, without any true understanding of her actions, but due to a great attachment to an older nun who befriends her.
This also ends, tragically, so her life goes. Still a young woman, but looking years older and without the abilitiy to organize her own life, she returns to her siblings but finds it impossible to endure the surroundings.
This story gave me a great sense of what was expected of girls in Victorian times and what the possible outcome could be when they did not fit into the plan of their family.
Alex is a pitable character and Delafield gives us a good story to cause us to ponder those not so long ago times.
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