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Ancestors

Gertrude Atherton

Book Overview: 

Flora, the daughter of a clergyman, grew up the playmate of the castle children but learned early on that a certain prettiness and good breeding did not put her in the same class as her friends. With the sudden death of her father and no chance of a rich husband, poverty was looming and the young woman may be forced to earn her living. As a companion to Lady Victoria Gwynne, she meets an American cousin come to trace her ancestry.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ng in the grate, the water boiling in the big silver kettle. Isabel made his tea almost black, but diluted her own, lest she should be left alone before she too was ready for sleep.

"You have had a beastly time these last days," he said, for he was genuinely hospitable. "I am sorry you did not happen to come a month earlier. Have you seen anything of Hexam? He was going on to Arcot."

"He rode over, or walked over, every day. We should have fallen a prey to melancholy without him, although you may believe me when I assure you that we thought more of you than we did of ourselves. I am your own blood-relation, so I have a right to feel dreadfully sympathetic—may I have a cigarette?"

"What a brick you are to smoke! I don't mind being sympathized with for a change. I have had to do so much sympathizing with others in the last week that I have not had time to pity myself. Even my mother went to pieces, for she was fond of Zeal, poor old chap, an. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I am reading a library copy, so am not experiencing the typos mentioned in the description. Thank you Berkeley, CA public library for having this book in your collection!

And now that I've finished: I have always been interested in the little subgenre of books set during the period when many wealt...more

I've been reading Gertrude Atherton quite a bit lately and I've liked her books so far. What Henry James did for Boston and Edith Wharton for New York, Atherton did for San Francisco. Her books are often thought-provoking psychological fiction and she has a keen sense of the region not only from...more

I dont know way but I really enjoyed this period-romance.
It is the best romantic book I have ever read.

Eleven year old Lee Tarleton meets almost fifteen British lad Cecil Maundrell at the San Francisco boarding house where she lives with her invalid widowed mother. Lee (named after General Robert E.) has been brought up with an awareness of her genteel Southern heritage, even though she and her mo...more

I enjoyed this book, the ending threw me for an unexpected loop. I do wonder if there is a sequeal to it.