“When I hear your books extolled; when I heard your praises from men, women, and children; when I could scarcely pick up a paper without finding some mention of your name; when I came here to-night, and paced the pavement, waiting for your admirers to leave the house; whenever and wherever I have heard you dear name uttered, I have been exultingly proud! For I knew that the heart of the people’s pet was mine. . . despite all that the public could offer you, despite the adulation of other men, and despite my utter unworthiness, my own darling was true to me! that you never loved any one but St. Elmo Murray!”
If any book were ever to make me think, this would be it. Reminiscent of Jane Eyre (which I liked far less than St. Elmo), the story speaks of an innocent, hardworking, farm girl tossed by sorrow and agony into the life of a broken, bitter, and much-betrayed man; the bravery he gave to her; and the goodness she gave to him. Beautiful writing, amazing style, and lines that will make you weep.