* The novel opens with Margaret Hale, a 19-year-old woman living in England. She is visiting her cousin, who is engaged to be married and lives in London. Margaret and her family live in Helstone, which is a bit rural and where her father, Mr. Hale, works as a minister.
* During a visit to Helsone, Margaret's good friend Henry Lennox confesses his love for her and asks for her hand in marriage.
* Margaret is outraged because she views Henry only as a friend and is terrified of losing her independence.
* She rejects him, and, after an awkward dinner, he leaves the Hale home.
* Magaret's father calls Margaret in to speak to her privately. He has come to question his faith and will be leaving his job as a reverend. Instead, he will work as a private tutor in a manufacturing town called Milton, where the family will move...
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