Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
Kate Fennigate was a manager, even as a young child; she influenced her mother, her schoolmates, and, particularly, her father. Because of her good manners, however, Kate was never offensive in her desire to lead. Her father, who had showed great promise as a lawyer when he was young, had permitted both women and liquor to interfere with his career. Mrs. Fennigate had no great interest in life except eating, and Mr. Fennigate had no great interest in her. Kate grew into a pretty, quiet, well-mannered girl with a managing complex. Her only intimate was Laila Capper, a self-centered, unintelligent, but beautiful girl who attended Miss Carroll’s day school with Kate. Kate found it flattering to help Laila with her homework and to get for her invitations to parties to which Laila would not otherwise have been invited.
At a school dance, just before she was graduated, Kate first became aware of her love for Ames Lanning, her cousin and Mary’s husband. Not long after Kate’s graduation, her mother died, and she and her father sold the house and went to Europe for two years. Her father, who had been ill even before they left America, died and was buried in Europe.
When Kate returned home, Aunt Daisy, the tyrant of her family, insisted that Kate stay with her. With the excuse of protecting Kate, she made a household drudge of her. Kate was nurse to Mary, Aunt Daisy’s daughter, governess to Mary’s child, Celia, and maid-of-all-work about the...
(The entire section is 958 words.)
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