Half Brothers by Hesba Stretton.
"Half Brothers," by Hesba Stretton, a story of two generations, the half-brothers being the sons of a rich young Englishman, who had deserted his humble-born first wife on the Continent, and, years after, believing her dead, had married again a girl of his own social rank.—The Critic (1894).
"The wandering Englishman, with his youthful follies and the teeth of his children set on edge because of them, is the theme of Hesba Stretton's "Half-Brothers." Sidney Martin marries Sophy Goldsmith, a poor saddler's daughter, and, to save his inheritance, leaves her and her offspring to the charity of a Tyrolese inn-keeper. Hearing of the mother s death he marries again in England. His son by this second marriage is brought by a convenient chance into contact with his elder half-brother, who has grown up as a wild mountaineer. The grandfather is hunted up, and, in due time, sees to it that his ignorant grandson succeeds to the property. He finds that he has no influence, however, over this stupid Tyrolese peasant, who imports a priest to manage his affairs for him. The story is highly improbable, but some of the characters are fairly well drawn." (Cassell Publishing Co.)—The Critic (1892).
"Tells of an intricate family history, with the play and counter-play of conflicting interests. The characters are well-drawn, well-developed portraits of such as it is possible to meet in every-day life."—Religious Tract Society (1908).
"It is full of adventure and shows that this favourite writer has lost none of her skill."—The British Weekly (1908).
"There is a breadth in Miss Hesba Stretton's views of life which gives a peculiar force to what she writes. We have always admired her work, but this is, in our judgment, at least as good as anything that we have before seen from her pen."—The Spectator says (1908).
"The book is strongly written and will be attractive to all readers."—The Christian World says (1908).
"As the title indicates, Hesba Stretton's story deals with the life of two sons of the same parent, in this case the father. One, the younger, was brought up surrounded by every luxury, while the elder ran wild in the woods of Austria until he was little more than a companion for beasts. The contrast in these two lives is naturally strong and the situations growing out of it dramatic."—Books (1892).
"Half Brothers" is weird in its fascination, harrowing in its pathos, complicated in plot, and well written. It has not a tame chapter in it, and a triumph of description is reached in the mountain scene, where Philip finds that the outcast peasant, a man now of thirty years, oppressed, ignorant, and half savage, is his own half brother. The leading argument of the story is fascination versus love."—The Chautauquan (1893).
Sophy and Martin were married and separated but then Sophy has his child and dies. The child is raised by Chiara and doesn't reappear until much later in the story. Margaret Cleveland, a sheltered individual, attracts Sidney. Trever is sent to find out about Sophy and she is reported to be dead. Sidney marries Margaret and have a child named Philip. Laura plots to get Philip married to her daughter Phyllis. Sidney must attend to a dead tenant's daughter, Dorothy. This is the first half of a 60 chapter story mostly about relationships and whole chapters about one person's perspective.—Curiosmith (2011).