Read When a Man Marries by Mary Roberts Rinehart Free Online
Book Title: When a Man Marries|
The size of the: 867 KB
Date of issue: January 1st 2008
ISBN 13: 9780554002149
The author of the book: Mary Roberts Rinehart
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books:3.5 stars
Mary Roberts Rinehart is best remembered today as a mystery writer, but When a Man Marries is a classic screwball comedy - complete with a feisty female lead, mistaken identities, romance, witty repartee and a cast of befuddled high-society types. Jewelry thefts and mysterious happenings are part of the plot, but what kept me turning the pages was the humor, the improbable twists and turns and the desire to see if two obviously mad-for-each-other couples would stop being stubborn, already.
Kit McNair just wants to help a friend distraught over the approaching second anniversary of his divorce. She encourages Jimmy Wilson to host a small dinner party at his fashionable New York home. As the group gathers, a frantic Jimmy informs them his wealthy Aunt Selina is coming for an unexpected visit. Aunt Selina disapproves strongly of divorce - and she holds Jimmy's purse strings. The rest of the group persuades the reluctant Kit to pose as Jimmy's wife, just for the duration of Aunt Selina's short stay.
Of course, a whole host of complications ensue. Jimmy's butler falls ill with what appears to be smallpox, and the rest of the frightened servants flee the house. Jimmy's REAL ex-wife, Bella, shows up unannounced, forcing Kit to hide her in the basement. Then the public-health authorities arrive to lock up the entire dinner party in quarantine.
Thus the stage is set for an outrageous, wild romp. Used to being fed and dressed by servants, the trapped guests muddle along as best they can. Aunt Selina unleashes her domestic tyranny on the household. Jimmy tries to give Bella the cold shoulder, but it soon becomes obvious he still adores her (all while he's supposed to be playing the part of Kit's devoted husband). And while pretending to be Jim's wife, Kit finds herself increasingly attracted to a handsome new acquaintance, Tom Harbison, an engineer with little use for the "non-producing parasites" of the upper crust.
The characters are all appealingly human as they tease, quarrel and flirt with one another. After awhile, I felt like I was stuck in the house with them, laughing one moment and growing exasperated the next. I wanted to shake Kit at times for so relentlessly denying her feelings and doubting her own judgment. Then a chapter or two later I would be chuckling at her quips or admiring her pluck. I despaired of the coldly arrogant Bella until she unexpectedly and touchingly revealed she had a heart.
Think too much about a story like this, and it falls apart. It's just too ridiculous to take seriously. This breezy novel is best enjoyed as the tongue-in-cheek, fun romp that it is.
First published in 1910, When a Man Marries is in the public domain and available for free, but I opted for the 99-cent Kindle edition by Legacy Vintage Collection, which includes an introduction and a gorgeous gallery of period photographs and artwork.
Read information about the authorMary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876-September 22, 1958) was a prolific author often called the American Agatha Christie. She is considered the source of the phrase "The butler did it", although she did not actually use the phrase herself, and also considered to have invented the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing.
Rinehart wrote hundreds of short stories, poems, travelogues and special articles. Many of her books and plays were adapted for movies, such as The Bat (1926), The Bat Whispers (1930), and The Bat (1959). While many of her books were best-sellers, critics were most appreciative of her murder mysteries.
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