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altheaann

altheaann

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Kept in the Dark

Kept in the Dark - Anthony Trollope I've been intending on reading Trollope for quite some time, and this one won... well, it's short!
This edition is also a direct photostat from the original Victorian serial, which is aesthetically charming, but slightly annoying to read (two columns per page).
My opinion? Well, this is not Great Literature,regardless of the reviews out there that go on about Trollope's 'insight into humanity' in this work, blah, blah, blah. This was written as a serial, and it is very much a soap-opera-esque entertainment. It effectively keeps you on the edge of your seat, going "OMG! What will happen next? Will they reconcile? Can I just strangle her now? Or at least give her a good shake? Can I kick him in the seat of his pants?"
All the characters are bloody idiots, repressive Victorian society or no.
Yet they are compelling.
Our main character, Cecilia, dumps her fiance when she realizes the spark of romance just isn't there. To help her get over it, her mom takes her on a trip. While traveling, she meets a suitable man who's just been dumped by his fiancee. She feels like it would be trying to steal the show (and just awkward) to tell him the story of her prior relationship, so she doesn't. They become friends, and she realizes that this guy actually knows - and despises - her ex. Which makes it even more awkward to tell him about it. Then they get engaged... and married. How can she tell him she was engaged to this man he hates now? But it's impossible that he'll never find out: they move in the same social circles, after all - and Cecilia also has a frenemy who keeps threatening to tell.
Oh, the drama. (It's a lot more complicated; the above paragraph is vastly simplified.) It's not a wholly satisfying novel; Trollope wants to tie everything up neatly, but while Cecilia's dumbassery is something I could have a bit of sympathy for, her husband was really just a jerk who deserved some just desserts.