I'm hard pressed to figure out how to rate this book, in some ways, it's quite good, in others, rather tedious. It could use some serious editing, as the author goes on a bit much. The story itself is interesting and keeps one's attention pretty well. The social attitudes that drive the story would no longer hold sway today. I could be wrong, of course, but I doubt very many people today would think that the mere fact of one's having been born out of wedlock automatically means that one is morally tainted. Yet that is the situation with Susan Lennox. Everyone around her pretty much assumed she had the moral inclinations towards the gutter merely because of the situation of her birth. She doesn't see it that way, however, so strives through a series of trials, towards total independence. She wanted to be her own mistress, so to speak, not the kept woman, either as spouse, mistress, or one-night stand of men.
The book is somewhat flawed by Phillips' constant preaching against conventional morality, his flawed observations on the human condition and so forth. Phillips seems to think he's the only smart person in the room and that those not subscribing to his points of view are delusional fools. It's not uncommon to find jerks within the pages of literature, but one doesn't generally discover that the real jerk in the pages is the author himself.
Still, it was an interesting take on the times, times which in some ways aren't all that different from our own. The plutocrats are still fleecing the rest of us for their personal benefit. The church is still not practicing what it preaches.