Agree, further I seem to recall it was more than being trapped in a marriage. She is a woman in an emotionally abusive and controlling marriage who is being victimized by another man who helped her with a loan when she was pregnant and her husband was ill; her husband who does not know of this debt because for a woman to borrow money is a disgrace. She also forged her dying father’s signature to get the loan for her husband’s health.
This other man is threatening to tell her husband and disgrace her, but claims to love her. He returns the incriminating paperwork to Nora.
When her husband finds out, it becomes all about him and how he is saved this disgrace of his wife borrowing money. She realizes her husband is selfish and it was always about him. He never acknowledges that she borrowed the money because he was sick and they were having a family. She leaves to find herself by living alone.
It shows how women had few rights and few options.
It is based on a true story. When the real woman’s husband found out she had taken out a secret loan (and women could not borrow money without a man’s signature), the real husband divorced her and place her in an asylum.
From a faithful Catholic perspective the lesson should be that two people are equal partners in a marriage. That money and saving face (her husband’s face if he were to find out she borrowed money for his health when women were not allowed to borrow money) are immaterial to the bond of the couple – two acting as one. That selfishness has no place in a marriage, nor gives one the right to abuse or hold things over the other spouse – in this case the woman. She was not the selfish one, because women could not borrow money so she only had illegal means to get money to help a husband who did not even acknowlege that she did this for him.
It is an appropriate book. It does not advocate for divorce – it more advocates for what a true marriage should be like, unlike this one. Loving, kind, forgiving – not controlling, selfish and abusive.