I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
You know, the thing I find most horrific about this tale is the lack of personal control any of the women have over their own lives. They are always in danger of having some older man take over their property or decree whom they must marry.
I am so glad I live in the 21st century in a democratic society.