It Was Like This

Where did I get the recommendation for this middlebrow maudlin romance by Anne Goodwin Winslow? I just finished, tossing the book aside with an eye-roll and muttering. Two brothers, raised in the south (VA? MS?) with their female second cousin; naturally they both fall in love with her. Naturally she is beautiful, heroic, mythical. Older brother Hugh goes off to Richmond to be a political journalist, Anna goes to finishing school. Lawrence, younger, stays at home and farms. When Hugh declares a tiny bit of the love he feels for Anna, she is frightened, marches away. Off in Richmond recovering from a gun shot wound (dueling!), Hugh learns of their marriage (Anna/Lawrence). He returns to the farm, writes his book about Shakespeare and Catullus. Inexplicable scene where the previous owner (Duncan) comes back and holds Anna hostage – very maudlin, idiotic plot twist. Gypsies at the gate tell Anna & Hugh they will have a kid (eye roll). Hugh finds he cannot hold his feelings back, so leaves again. As they part, Anna thinks of Hugh and the gypsy prediction. Gak. The mother’s friend Mrs. Middleton provides some erudite advice to Hugh (her favorite), acts as a sane sounding board. There is a brief scandal with Ollie (the caretaker’s daughter) getting pregnant and asking that Hugh be told. The baby later drowns. Much rowing back and forth. Much ado about nothing.