The Wingless Bird On the eve of World War I, Agnes Conway manages both the business and the problems of her troubled family. She finds the strength to break class barriers and help her sister Jessie marry a good boy from a family of dockside toughs. Is she strong enough to break them again when Charles Farrier, a gentleman, courts her over his parents’ opposition? Agnes faces an added dilemma when she finds her heart divided between Charles and his soldier brother Reginald.
The middle classes were just as prejudiced as the upper classes were. The usual double standard, with the father having his mistress, and his wife bringing up the mistress’s child, while refusing to show any sympathy for this child when she herself becomes pregnant. The attraction by the aristocrat for the shopkeeper’s daughter did not strike me as real, nor did the aristocrat’s mother refusal to see him. The premise that somebody from the real aristocracy would fall so easily in love with a shopgirl, well, I wonder how necessary it was to the story, whether something else could not have been invented for the purpose. The war scenes were well done. The lowest people of the classes were also a bit too nice (being dock people and all). But it was lovely to follow and the English towns were enjoyable.