This was an interesting social experiment by Wells. I read that when it came out it was panned by both traditionalists and sufferagettes. It came across very much as Wells trying to figure out the changes in society, social experimentation in the form of his characters. There was a lot of really interesting views about women in this book. The main male character came across as someone who believed very strongly in equality between the sexes, yet because of the nature of the woman he married, he was unable to manage it. She reminded me of the worst of womankind. She was intelligent, she wanted to love, but she just got sucked into consumerism because she had nothing else that was worthwhile in her life. She reminded me a lot of the women you see today with huge credit card debt, wearing the most fashionable clothes and reading glossy magazines and being terribly dull.
The plot followed the meeting of the couple, their marriage, their failures and success and eventually their trip to the wilderness of the snowy norths to get away from it all and find out what really mattered.
More than anything this was a novel about ideas, trying to figure out the changing society, and look at the changing role of women, the nature of marriage and sex. While I definitely didn't agree with everything Mr. Wells wrote in this book it was interesting to see the points he raised and the experiment he was carrying out. Definitely more interesting as social history than literature, it wasn't until the 3 or 4th part that the story became personal. I wish he'd written more first person narrative rather than distancing himself as he often did as he got older. I found his first person stories so touching, and the 3rd person, or the omniscent narrator comes over as just a little condescending at times.
But worth the read.