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Phoebe Deane

Narrated by: Anne Hancock
Series: Miranda Trilogy, Book 2
Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins

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This book has all the makings of a fairy tale. The lovely orphaned girl, Phoebe Deane, lives with her kind but ineffectual half-brother but is treated like an unpaid servant by his shrewish wife. A crude widower with a houseful of children is determined to have her. He repulses her but her sister-in-law helps with the scheme to get her in his clutches. Phoebe is in despair and would prefer death to living with a tyrant. Along comes a fairy godmother (the wily Miranda Griscom from Livingston Hill's Marcia Schuyler and Miranda) full of sympathy and plans to help her. And the handsome stranger Phoebe meets in the woods one day might be a key to her salvation.  

But the book's most serious theme, as in many of GLH's stories, is gossip: the perniciousness of it, the ease with which it is spread, and the irreparable damage it can do to innocent lives. Worrying about "what the neighbors will think" was a real threat in small-town America in the early 20th century, which we tend to think of as a simpler time. But the spreading of gossip and ruining of reputations in a small community was as lethal then as social media can be today.

Public Domain (P)2019 Anne Hancock

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