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The Two Vanrevels   By: (1869-1946)

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The Two Vanrevels by Booth Tarkington is a delightful novel that takes readers on an intriguing journey through small-town life in Indiana. Set in the late 1800s, this book offers a unique blend of romance, mystery, and social commentary.

Set in the fictional town of Englewood, the story revolves around the wealthy and respected Vanrevel family. The Vanrevels have a long-standing reputation in town, and their influence is felt in every aspect of local life. However, as is often the case, behind closed doors, a different reality unfolds.

The protagonist, Harry Vanrevel, serves as the town attorney and lives a rather solitary life. Harry's reserved nature masks a passionate and caring soul, which becomes evident when he stumbles upon a secret that could ruin his family's reputation forever. Determined to protect those he loves, Harry embarks on a journey full of intrigue, deceit, and unexpected twists.

One of the book's strengths lies in Tarkington's masterful portrayal of the characters. Each individual comes to life through vivid descriptions and fascinating backstories. It is easy to become invested in their lives, feeling their joys and sorrows as if they were our own. Harry, in particular, evolves from a stoic and enigmatic figure into a multifaceted hero, proving that appearances can be deceiving.

Furthermore, Tarkington expertly weaves in social commentary on the societal expectations and constraints placed upon women at the time. The characters of Diana Sherwood and Sylvia Farquhar serve as strong female voices, questioning and challenging the norms of their time. Their determination to break free from the limitations imposed on them provides a refreshing and empowering perspective.

The plot itself is engrossing, filled with unexpected turns and revelations that keep readers hooked from beginning to end. Tarkington skillfully combines elements of mystery and romance, ensuring that the story never becomes predictable. The pacing is well-balanced, allowing for moments of quiet reflection and intense action.

While the writing style may feel a bit dated for some modern readers, it is undeniably rich and evocative. Tarkington's attention to detail creates a vivid tapestry of small-town life, transporting readers seamlessly into the world he has crafted.

In conclusion, The Two Vanrevels is a captivating novel that explores the complexity of human nature and challenges societal conventions of its time. With its memorable characters, intriguing plot, and insightful social commentary, this book is a true gem in American literature. Tarkington’s ability to craft an engaging story while exploring important themes is a testament to his talent as a writer. Whether you're a fan of historical fiction, romance, or mystery, this novel is sure to leave a lasting impression.

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By Booth Tarkington

Table of Contents

A Cat Can Do More than Look at A King Surviving Evils of the Reign of Terror The Rogue's Gallery of a Father Should be Exhibited to a Daughter with Particular Care "But Spare Your Country's Flag" Nero not the Last Violinist of his Kind The Ever Unpractical Feminine The Comedian A Tale of a Political Difference The Rule of the Regent Echoes of a Serenade A Voice in a Garden The Room in the Cupola The Tocsin The Firm of Gray and Vanrevel When June Came "Those Endearing Young Charms" The Price of Silence The Uniform The Flag Goes Marching By "Good by"

CHAPTER I. A Cat Can Do More than Look at a King

It was long ago in the days when men sighed when they fell in love; when people danced by candle and lamp, and did dance, too, instead of solemnly gliding about; in that mellow time so long ago, when the young were romantic and summer was roses and wine, old Carewe brought his lovely daughter home from the convent to wreck the hearts of the youth of Rouen.

That was not a far journey; only an afternoon's drive through the woods and by the river, in an April, long ago; Miss Betty's harp carefully strapped behind the great lumbering carriage, her guitar on the front seat, half buried under a mound of bouquets and oddly shaped little bundles, farewell gifts of her comrades and the good Sisters... Continue reading book >>

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