There is no doubt Christie is a master in the study of human nature – she is an observer , not a judge , of human nature and is mature enough to be aware of its imperfections . the reader herself becomes aware of christie’s genius when she reads her poirot or marple series ……… first you read it because of you are fan of mysteries and whodunits ( I wonder who is not ) but as u read a series of them in succession …….u realize that though  Christie doesn’t always succeed as well as conan doyle does with holmes ,  in creating a gr8 suspense , u  realize , as I said as u progress in ur study of christie’s prolific  literature that she is a master story teller  and I repeat a master in the study of human nature . so it’s no wonder that she has written a string of novels on the subject indicating her knowledge of it . I read ‘absent in the spring’ a long time back and now ‘the burden’ and as mary westmacott there’s always a bit of tragedy or sadness in her novels………………… but as human as we are , it is our tendency to hope that even if all’s not well in the beginning , it will end well in the end , so we may be left with a tinge of sadness in the end . although her profound observations in the subject gives one second-hand experience of life (good fiction always does)which triumphs over the  negative emotions.

So coming to ‘the burden’ the first half is fine ………no complaints whatsoever and the chapter introducing knox is excellent……..especially his childhood and the emphasis on following the human instinct…………………all this I’m afraid raises the expectation of the ending……which  didn’t satisfy me at all. Even in the case of laura – who we sympathise with from the beginning  and hope a happy ending for,Christie  disappoints in the end . I totally buy ac’s explanation for laura’s murder of henry………………but why make Shirley pay for it. But  the actual tragedy is that Wilding is the one who really pays for it , though Shirley has suffered on account of henry and laura…….it is no excuse to inflicther pain upon Wilding who has suffered as much in the case of his first wife , still retainng his sympathetic disposition . why does christie deny Wilding And Shirley  , both of whom suffered on account of their first spouses a chance at happiness ???? ao in the end it is hard to feel as happy as we would really like to for Laura and Llewellyn , as as it is equally hard to believe that laura would be really happy when  she knows in the end, that Shirley might have committed suicide out of unhappiness …………………………………….