'Instead of the Thorn' is one of Georgette Heyer’s early novels. It follows Elizabeth Arden, a young woman raised by a cold, distant father and a prim, proper aunt. Unsurprisingly Elizabeth comes of age with no sense of how to make her way in the world or what will make her happy. At a young age she marries a man she does not love and embarks on a life that does not fulfill her. Her wedding night on her marriage is a complete disaster. After a time she separates from her husband and tries to make her way in the world. To start she is little more than a spoiled girl, but as the book unfolds Elizabeth struggles to become her own person and is surprised by just who she is and what she wants. A thoroughly satisfying novel.