Though her parents and the uncle who raised her have died, life should be almost perfect for open-hearted Cecilia. She has inherited enough money to be independent and to live the life that is her ideal, righting wrongs and helping the less privileged. Unfortunately, anything in this long book that could go awry does. Cecelia is not quite 21, and until she is of age she needs to reside with one of the guardians her uncle has carefully but misguidedly chosen. The first guardian, the husband of a childhood friend, is a gambler with a wild social life who borrows huge sums of money from her. The second is a wealthy but rough talking miser who lives in self-chosen poverty, and the third, an overly proud, pompously condescending aristocrat is not much better than the first two. Cecelia falls in love with the kind and decent son of this third guardian and young Mr. Deville loves her back, but since the terms of her inheritance state that her husband must take her last name his family’s conceit gets in the way their happy ending. Along the way many, many entertaining characters are introduced, including members of the elite Ton who come in at least two varieties. One set talks highly animated, nonstop frivolities while the other finds everything so excessively dull and boring that any conversation at all is almost unendurable. CECELIA was one of Jane Austen’s influences and the last chapter in which everything is finally made right has the words PRIDE AND PREJUDICE in boldface capitals three times.