By Helen Wheeler (auth.)
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Bob Jakin turns up with a present of second-hand books for Maggie, and among them she finds a book, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, a mediaeval mystic. Its message of selfless renunciation excites her, and over the next two years she attempts to adopt this way of life. She abandons the attempt at self-education from Tom's old school books, tries to learn self-control, and manages to earn some money by doing 'plain sewing' for a local shop, though Tom disapproves of his sister's initiative here.
Maggie wants the calm of a clear conscience but hungers for Philip's companionship. He genuinely thinks her attitude foolish, but speaks so vehemently because of his longing to be with her, a longing intensified by his feeling of being an outsider. Book 5, Chapter 4 - Another love scene Summary Maggie and Philip have been meeting for nearly a year. He has been her 'tutor', supplying books and discussing them. Now he confesses his love for her and beseeches her to tell him if she can love him. Maggie is taken aback but finally says she doesn't think she could love anyone better and that she would like never to part from Philip.
The Deanes are the most financially successful of the three visiting couples - he is partner in a 'millowning, ship-owning business'- and they are the only ones with a child, Lucy, whose fair prettiness contrasts with Maggie's tousled appearance. This draws the criticism of the adults and in desperation Maggie persuades Tom to come upstairs and cut her hair off. But now she looks so odd that Tom laughs at her and Maggie, heartbroken, realises she has done the wrong thing yet again. When she finally creeps downstairs, the family greet her with laughter, horror and reproof, and only her father takes her part.