"M de La Tour d'Azyr's concern for Aline on that morning of the duel when he had found her half-swooning in Mme de Plougastel's carriage had been of a circumspection that betrayed nothing of his real interest in her, and therefore had appeared no more than natural in one who must account himself the cause of her distress."
That sentence is a pretty good summary of the novel, which is a somewhat soggy and overwritten soap opera set in revolutionary France. Here's another one:
"But fast to danger-point as was the speed, to the women in that carriage it was too slow."
Yes, far too slow. Zing! There were actually parts of the book I enjoyed, and initially I was interested to see where the story would go, but over time the book just became more disappointing. The protagonst is a bit of a Mary Sue, and the morals, gender relations, political theory, and diction were all wonky (are they left over's from the 1950's? are they supposed to be accurate to the time the story is set in?). At the end I had the sneaking suspicion that I'd just read the 1950's version of a Michael Crichton novel.