Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was an English novelist, biographer, and short story writer. Wives and Daughters is far more than a nostalgic evocation of village life; it offers an ironic critique of mid-Victorian society. Set in the watchful society of Hollingford, this is a warm tale of love and longing. Molly Gibson is the spirited, loyal daughter of the local doctor. Their peaceful close-knit home is turned upside down when Molly's father decides to remarry. Molly's life is thrown off course by the arrival of her vain, shallow and selfish stepmother. There is some solace in the shape of her new stepsister Cynthia, who is beautiful, sophisticated and irresistible to every man she meets. Soon the girls become close, and Molly finds herself cajoled into becoming a go-between in Cynthia's love affairs.