Virago Modern Classic #484
This is a timeless and charming tale.
Mr Gibson and Miss Diver meet at the Chelsea Arts Ball and fall deeply in love. She is his “Spanish rose” and he is her “King Hal”.
But Mr Gibson decides that he must marry the daughter of a wealthy business associate to save his ailing business and moves into a new world.
Miss Diver is left with nothing and so she takes in a lodger.
That lodger, Mr Philips, takes Miss Diver for a wealthier woman than she is and begins to make plans.
Helping all of this along is Martha, the orpaned niece taken in by Miss Driver. And Martha’s artistic talent brings her to the attention of Mr Gibson’s future father-in-law …
The plot moves along nicely and Margery Sharp has the gift of creating characters you immediately feel you know and relationships you can empathize with.
She captures romance wonderfully without ever becoming sentimental.
Martha appears in two sequels, sadly out of print, that I will endeavour to track down.
“The Eye of Love” is a gem!