I have mixed feelings when it comes to this book.
On one hand it is told beautifully when it comes to emotional content and I found myself liking Penelope very much. The prose is really good and author does a good job at portraying just how little women in that time where worth and how much they where define by men. How important marriage was and how just a wisp of scandal could ruin a girl.
I found that the author also did a good job portraying how betrayal and being stripped of everything can change you into a cold and hard person like it has changed Michael. He has stripped himself of any emotion so completely, so as to harden himself against any weaknesses, that when he meets Penelope again he sees her as a means to an end and forgets that she was his childhood friend and how he was, just maybe, in love with her.
While I felt that it was an emotional read, I have my reservations forgiving Michael because of how cold and hurtful he was to Penelope. I honestly don't feel that he redeem himself enough and at some points in the story, I found myself wishing that Penelope would just leave him and find herself a man who would love her better. Ultimately this book hinges on just how forgiving the reader can be. I can understand why Penelope forgave him, she was foolishly in love with him but can the reader fall in love with Michael as well?
I know I couldn't completely let of of his previous bad behaviour enough to find satisfaction in the ending.