The heroine was so PASSIVE and self-hating, I couldn't feel any sympathy for her. Her family sold her to a vicious brute and abandons her, but is she angry? Is she indignant?
No, she wallows in pain and guilt over her "sins". Much of the book was spent with her wringing her hands and weeping over her general unworthiness to LIVE in the world with decent people. Boo-hoo! She has no hope! No life! Nothing will ever change! It never occurs to her to do anything but sit around and weep and sigh. No, her cousin Esme is the one to tell her, "You need something more. *I* will take care of it."
Whine, whine, whine. "I am so sinful! I am so unworthy! Somebody remove my terrible self from the planet!" she weeps and cries and snivels. Please. I wanted to shoot her myself just to stop the pain.
So, inevitably, she falls for the man who her cousin bought for her so she could finally lose her virginity. (Yes, she's a virgin - you think we can have a heroine who is an actual sinner?) And her husband finds out.
At the climax of this masterpiece, her EVVVIIILLL (you know he had to be evil, right?) husband attacks the hero and begins to BEAT HIM TO DEATH in front of our Heroine. Her reaction to watching the Love of Her Life being murdered in front of her?
She weeps! She cries! She shrieks! She wrings her delicate pale fingers as tears fall from cornflower blue eyes down porcelain cheeks. Oh, whatever can she do?
Get this - she has a gun available - and DECIDES not to use it! Because it's sinful to kill someone! Never fear, she will be rescued by someone who takes on the "sin" for her - although WHY any sane person would WANT to be with someone who watched them being BEATEN TO DEATH is beyond me!