Chapters 24-26 Summary
Upon hearing that her father is to marry Margaret, Evie becomes upset. She feels Margaret is trying to steal her father. Dolly attempts a scheme. She suggests that Evie pretend to break her engagement off. Maybe then her father would come to his senses and not marry Margaret, because he would once again enjoy Evie’s company. Charles makes both Dolly and Evie stop their silliness. If she can do nothing else, Evie decides, she will at least change the date of her wedding from September to August, which she does.
Evie wants to hold the wedding not in London but rather in the countryside, at an estate her father has recently bought. The manor is located in Oniton Grange, far into the north country near the Welsh border. Henry Wilcox thought he had found a piece of property that others had mistakenly overlooked. Upon exploring Oniton, he had been disappointed. The hunting was no good and neither was the fishing. The scenery, according to the women in his family, was boring. But he had purchased the property, and it was at Oniton that friends and relatives of the family would be in residence for the duration of Evie’s wedding. Upon arriving at Oniton, Margaret rents a car to take her on a short tour of the village. The town has served as the marketplace for the surrounding areas for many decades, and Margaret immediately falls in love with it.
Later, as the wedding party is driving from the town center out to the Wilcox estate, one of the drivers hits a villager’s pet cat. The women are ordered into another car and whisked away without being told what has happened until they have been removed from the scene. When she learns what has happened, Margaret insists that Charles stop the car. He refuses, so Margaret jumps out while the car is still moving. She hurts her hand in her fall but insists on walking back to the place where the cat was hit. She does this is in reaction to the constant demeaning statements and behaviors that the men bestow on the women. Their expressions imply that women are weak, and Margaret has grown tired of them.
However, after viewing the scene and later arriving at the Wilcox place, Margaret apologizes to Henry and tells him that she has behaved foolishly. Again, Margaret is acting against her own core beliefs. She builds up frustration in Henry’s negative image of women and then later acquiesces to him, thus reinforcing his opinion.
After the wedding, as...
(The entire section is 651 words.)