Clifford the brother is shy, emotional so confused, with a drinking problem and seemed a bit bored with life in general.
Mr. Acton had the most exposure of the lot at The Wentworths
He was supposed to be progressive, understanding, liberal and fairly detached to dead traditions and morbid codes of conducts and yet, he was unable to break the shackles of traditions, society, morality in marrying Eugenia.
Gertrude outshined him in listening to her heart and following her natural instincts and flew away with her Artist into the wonderlands of love which are always full of risqué and passion. Mr. Acton wanted much in security against failure. He must have to love Eugenia more and better to win her faith and sweep her off her feet. He failed in doing so and instead of accepting the lack of feelings on his part he called Eugenia a liar, thus saving himself from self scrutiny which in turn would have revealed him as far inferior to the Baroness who was honest enough to follow her heart and accept it.
Disillusioned, stifled ,suffocating and perhaps scornful ,she went back to familiar hazards rather than braving the new ones.
Its not in The Wentworths or Mr. Brand but in Acton that his motherland is ashamed. He emerged from deep waters of world as shallow as those trifling with pebbles on the shore.
What Was Wanting
The characters of the ladies Gertrude and Eugenia could have been more layered and more pages could have been dedicated for them.(which inturn could have turned it into an Austen :P)
There were no loose threads at the end of the story but being a hopeless romantic, I was expecting something for Eugenia's sake.
The novella is complete yet the reader is left carving for more.
(so the 4/5 rating)