This is a novel about small-town Victorian society told in the driest, most sarcastic style. Oliphant has few illusions about the strictures and privileges of genteel life, an no illusions at all about her sturdy heroine. Miss Lucille Marjoribanks is a strong-willed, large-bodied young woman with little sense of humor or wit but an incredible talent for social interaction. Within a matter of months, she is the center of her little town of Carlingford's society. Told with a light, yet hilarious narrative style, this is a funny yet insightful look at mid-Victorian society.