For multiple reasons, I almost stopped reading this book after 50 pages (following the 50 page rule), but I didn't - and am so glad that I stuck with it.
First, the reasons I almost stopped reading it: (1) It's written in first person - not my favorite writing style. (2) It's set in the academic/literary world of Cambridge (Harvard) - a world that is totally foreign to me. And (3) The main character (Abby Randolph) is a wimp with a capital W who lets men and the rest of the world walk all over her.
And now, the reasons that I'm glad I DIDN'T stop reading this book: (1) Besides Cambridge, this book is also set in the world of antiques - a subject that has always fascinated me. (2) I was reintroduced to the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and in fact may go out now and get a book of her poems. (3) This book reminded me how important real love is, whenever and wherever you find it. And (4) Abby (as you may suspect from the title) grew a backbone by the end of the story - and had a few important epiphanies along the way that resonated with me also.
Sometimes I find that the books that are the hardest to "get into" are the ones that mean the most afterwards. This is one of those books.