Hall Craine’s The Woman Thou Gavest Me is a novel that will keep you turning pages and leave you wondering why you bothered.
The only offspring of an unhappy marriage, Mary O’Neill gets shunted off to convent school in Rome at age 8. At 18, Mary is about to declare her wish to become a nun when her father appears to bring her back to Ireland to wed the profligate Englishman who inherited the family estate and title.
Mary’s obediently marries, but voices her objection to being touched by her husband so loudly that he agrees to a marriage in name only until she falls in love with him.
Unable to get an annulment or a divorce, Mary does the next worst thing: She spends one night with her childhood sweetheart, Dr. Martin Conrad, the intrepid explorer who leaves the next day for Antarctica.
Martin returns in the nick of time to save Mary from becoming a prostitute to buy medicine for their sick baby.
Despite improbable characters in implausible situations, Craine presents a cogent explanation of the Catholic position on marriage and divorce, showing through Mary’s experience where it pinches and why. You need not agree with the position or how Mary comes to terms with it, but you’ll at least understand it.
Perhaps that’s reason enough to keep turning pages.The Woman Thou Gavest Me By Hall Craine 1913 bestseller #7 over 500 pages Project Gutenberg e-book #14597 My grade: C
© 2013 Linda Gorton Aragoni