This book began a little slow and the romance seemed unlikely and unrealistic. However, Hawthorne was wonderful in many of his descriptions of the characters, the house and the train ride. My favorite chapter was about "Governor" Pyncheon and all the plans he had made for his future. These plans are revealed to the reader as the man lay dead in a chair. It reminded me of the parable that Jesus told in Luke 12:16-21 about the rich man and the plans he was making when he died. The difference is that Jesus told his parable in six succinct verses, while Hawthorne took fifteen delightful pages. I read this book when I was in college, but didn't remember anything about it. I'm sure I didn't appreciate it then. I highly recommend the book.