Mrsgaskell's Reviews > The Third Miss Symons

The Third Miss Symons by Flora Macdonald Mayor
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's review
Jan 11, 12

bookshelves: 8-star, british, classics, kindle
Read in January, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I downloaded this freebie Kindle classic solely based on the opening sentence: "Henrietta was the third daughter and fifth child of Mr. and Mrs. Symons, so that enthusiasm for babies had declined in both parents by the time she arrived."

It's a rather sad story of an aimless life but it's a compelling read and comparatively short so I read it in one sitting. Etta wants to love and be loved but she doesn't fit it. Her older sisters are close and she is excluded. Her mother is not particularly interested in her children and Etta doesn't really have many personal attractions. She also has a cross temperament. She forms some attachments at school but they are either one-sided or doomed by her bad temper. Since she is comfortably off she doesn't need to do anything and lacks purpose. She takes over her father's household unsuccessfully after her mother's death but that ends with her father's remarriage. She's not a success at charitable work either, and once she has definitely missed the opportunity of marriage, she spends much time abroad in impersonal pensiones. This is well worth reading if one is interested in the life of Victorian women. What a waste of lives and opportunities!
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