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Publisher's Summary

"The Shuttle" (1907) is a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Sir Nigel Anstruthers comes to New York to search an heiress, as he no longer has enough money to keep up his estate, Stornham Court. He marries the pretty and treasured Rosalie, the daughter of an American millionaire. But on their return to England, Nigel and his mother control and isolate Rosalie from her family. Many years later, Rosalie's sister Bettina, who has spent a decade wondering why Rosy has lost contact with the family, arrives at Stornham Court to investigate.

She discovers Rosalie and her son Ughtred, physically and emotionally fragile, living in the ruined estate. Bettina, begins to restore both Rosalie's health and spirits and the building and grounds of Stornham Court in Nigel's absence. Bettina attracts the attention of the local gentry and re-integrates her sister into society, while she gains the respect of the villagers by her insistence that repairs be done by local workers.

©2019 Audioliterature (P)2019 Audioliterature

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Compelling & strange

At first this novel seemed like it might only be a lower-quality knockoff of Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady, but once I got beyond the America vs. England theorizing, I fell in love with the characters. I finished this a week ago and am still thinking about it! Even though I knew the ending was happy due to reading other reviews, the plot was so dark at points I couldn’t figure out how it would end. Although the good characters are unbelievably perfect and the bad characters are totally unsympathetic villains, I would still recommend this if you like long novels with strong, interesting female protagonists like Middlemarch & Portrait. But be warned that the reading performance, & even the sound quality, is pretty mediocre. Content warning: the abusive relationship at the beginning is very well-described.

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