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Through the Eye of the Needle
William Dean Howells
Project Gutenberg
The dramatic center of the book is the love affair between Homos and Evelith Strange, a wealthy widow of the American plutocracy. Evelith has chosen the life of a socialite because she is frustrated by the limited effects of "good works" — though her routine of idleness conflicts with her Christian values and her conscience. Evelith must decide whether to abandon her social position and her fortune to follow Homos back to Altruria. Eventually, Evelith marries Homos, and both she and her mother return with him to Altruria. Curiously, the mother-in-law finds the adjustment relatively easy, since she realizes that she has returned to the simpler life she knew in her youth.