First published in a single novel in 1848, I listened to this - yet another of my forlorn attempts at the classics - as an apparently abridged audiobook, although I have to say Chirp did not give any indication that it was so shortened. But it was just as well it was otherwise I would have DNF'd it anyway. Curiously this book seemed quite reminiscent of another so-called classic I listened to recently by the title of The Age of Innocence, although the gender roles are reversed in this, as compered with that one.
The story is of a social climbing young girl, recently graduated from an academy, who goes by the name of Rebecca. She's not a nice person. Why Amelia - a fellow graduate - is friends with her is a mystery. Rebecca aims to find a permanent place in a rich family and sets about it at once, finding work with Sir Pitt Crawley, who is quite wealthy.
Unfortunately, Rebecca can't keep it in her pants and rather than wait for Sir Pitt's wife to expire so she can have the master of the house all to herself, she secretly marries his son Rawdon. This proves to be a tragic mistake because Sir Pitt's wife dies prematurely, and Sir Pitt is then peeved that Rebecca isn't available to him. She's screwed in a second way because Sir Pitt's half-sister, who is also wealthy and who was favoring Rawdon for an inheritance, is put out sufficiently by this ill-favored marriage of his, that she disowns him.
As if that isn't bad enough, Rawdon comes home early one evening and discovers Rebecca in the company of the wealthy Marquis of Steyne, who apparently has been giving her money and jewels. What he got in return isn't specified, but after Rawdon assaults him, the latter finds himself sent to Coventry as they say in Britain, but in this case quite literally: he's unexpectedly appointed governor of Coventry Island - a hell hole of a place that no one wants to visit. Rebecca ends up wandering Europe in a downward spiral before she manages to finagle a decent living of sorts, but it's nothing like the one she'd dreamed of.
If I've made my review sound boring, it merely reflects the work that's reviewed, but at least be happy you were not the one who had to listen to it! I can't commend it.