What is the significance of Kate's dysfunctional family and, in particular, Lionel Croy, who only appears at the start and end of the novel?
Kate's father has a strange and, perhaps, terrible personality and history. Kate's sister, Mrs. Condrip, is decidedly unimpressive.
But what has all this to do with Kate, her psyche and behaviour, and her ultimately strained relationship with Merton Densher? What does Milly finally make of her, and is Milly as clear-sighted here as she becomes regarding Densher?