The Awkward Age by Henry James
Making her debut in London society, Nanda Brookenham is being groomed for the marriage market. Thrust suddenly into the superficial and immoral circle that surrounds her mother, the innocent but independent-minded young woman even finds herself in competition with Mrs Brookenham for the affection of the man she admires. Only an elderly bachelor, Mr Longdon, is immune to this world of greed and scheming, and determines to rescue Nanda from its corrupting influences out of loyalty to the deep love he once felt for her grandmother. In The Awkward Age (1899), Henry James explores the English character, and the clash between old and new money with a light and subtly ironic touch to create a devastating critique of society and its machinations.