Madeline Abergayle was the eldest daughter of Lord Abergayle of Basingstoke, England. Her life was predictable and tediously proper, until her mother decided upon a scheme and they traveled to Cairo. Days after their arrival her mother fell ill and she and her sister, Veronica, were given into the care of their Cousin Wendy. Not two days after Mrs. Waters became their guardian she wed Mr. Doyle and Madeline’s predictable world was tossed into the Nile. As a ward of the Doyle’s she was given the opportunity to become more than her class ever expected of her and encouraged to do so.
Read alsoThe Art of Knock
In the three-part title story of The Art of the Knock, a travelling salesman knocks with inventive delight on the stubborn, closed doors of his prospective customers-people who find themselves on the wrong side of their own invisible doors. In the face of their mutual solitudes, they devise odd, personal rituals that connect and isolate them…
Leopold Braxton is the third son of a minor noble with no funds and no interest in finding himself a wife. He flits from engagement to engagement, following only the desires of amusement and company. He finds himself curious about a chestnut haired young woman who sits in silence with a blond haired girl in the club car of the train. Determined to disrupt her solitary pursuit he attempts to catch her attention and finds himself stunned mute by the young woman. Upon exposure to the young woman’s formidable guardians he becomes even more curious about the dark haired beauty.
Lord Arthur Abergayle was entailed his title and the county seat. He was engaged to wed Miss Constance Young, a wealthy tradesman’s daughter. To him she was the most perfect woman God had ever created. He traveled to Egypt last winter with the express intention of standing out amongst her bevy of suitors and winning her hand. After Constance agreed to wed him he returned to England as a man whose future happiness and prosperity was ensured. He existed in a haze of joy until his certain happiness was ripped away by a former suitor of Miss Young’s.
Constance Young is a young woman of wealth and ambition. Despite her mother’s deepest desire to see her titled and landed, Constance refuses to wed a man who cares only for her wealth. Arthur won her heart when he confessed that he purchased a rug, simply because it contained the color of her eyes. That he was landed pleased her mother greatly, that he was Cousin to a friend; pleased her. Her tender heart is bruised due to the calculating actions of a former suitor. Despite the potential ruination of her character, Constance takes solace in friendship and holds hope in her heart that Arthur will prove himself worthy of her.
Is it possible for these couples to overcome disappointment and distance and find true love?