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This story for some reason brings to mind the Hemingway story "The Old Man and the Sea"; if I remember correctly, after a hard day and night, it was the sharks which finally got the great fish. I like Frederick Davidson as a narrator. There is something aristocratic and superior as in his voice. He won my total loyalty with his performance with Nadia May of Anne Bronte's The Tenant at Wildfell Hall. He has a knack of making one accept his portrayal of women's voices.
Anthony Trollope seemed to like less than attractive characters, in this case an older man, aged fifty, in love with a much younger woman, making it difficult to write for the reader to be sympathetic to them. He then sets himself the task of making the reader like his creation. Be darned if he doesn't accomplish his goal.
There are a couple complications which enliven the story. The penniless young woman pledged her hand but not her heart. There is an absent young man on whom the young woman's thoughts have long dwelled. There is the married housekeeper who slyly throws a few wrenches into the motor. Then what happens if young man returns from the far reaches of the planet? I am so wishy washy that sometimes, I cheered for the old man then just as enthusiastically for the young man.
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