This novel was praised for its depiction of the complicated relationship between a father and daughter. Catherine Sloper lives in New York City's fashionable Washington Square district with her aunt and her physician father. As Catherine is courted by Morris Townsend, her father threatens disinheritance.
A widowed father lives a comfortable, socially-respected life with his only daughter in the most fashionable part of town. Each manages to "accept with resignation" certain cooly-rationalized, major life decisions which sustain an enviable socio-economic status while not necessarily providing nurture and/or compassion. They each interact with a relative who lives in their house. She is the father's scatterbrained, penniless, meddling sister who expresses her gratitude for the pair's willingness to take her in by attempting to introduce nurture and compassion to their household. All three interact with a charming, presentable, spendthrift, itinerant fortune-hunter who offers the daughter an opportunity for nurture and compassion outside her ancestral home. The story has always fascinated its readers and the viewers of its multiple motion picture versions because the decisions which the four principal characters must make are similar to those which readers may have had to make in their own lives.--Submitted by Arrow
The world of fathers and daughters is expressed with full measure in this wonderful novel by the great Henry James. Posh, vibrant, modern New York City in the 1800's sets the tone for the setting of an age old tale of "my castle, my rules" father over a daughter who eventually finds her voice and strength to live her life on her own terms, at the cost of her own happiness. As usual, Mr. James tosses the reader back and forth in order for us to comprehend the complexity of love, honesty, and weaknesses amongst family members who hide true feelings and motives from one another, in order to comply with societal arrangements making all miserable in the process. A great tale that takes the reader back more than a hundred years only to find characters and their problems not unlike our very own today.--Submitted by Anonymous
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