I'm having a very similar reaction to Anthony Trollope's Framley Parsonage. I strongly suspect that the convention of the oeuvre is that the horrible things threatening the sympathetic characters will not come to pass. I strongly suspect that it will be the equivalent of Scooby-Doo in that there will be a happy ending and all specters of debt and penury will be dispelled as simply Mr. Sowerby in glow-in-the-dark paint. So to speak. But in the meantime, this book is freaking me out.
Pop quiz: how many of your friends are, to the best of your knowledge, in immediate danger of having their planet blown up by hostile aliens? How many of your friends are--again, so far as you have been made aware--in immediate danger of having their throats ripped out by werewolves? their blood sucked and their soul removed by sparkly vampires? Now: how many of your friends are in danger of serious money problems? How many of your friends already have serious money problems?
By 20th and 21st century standards, Framley Parsonage is a very graphic and explicit book when it comes to income and debt. When we see Mark Robarts sign notes accepting debt, we know what his income is to the shilling, and we know what the debts are to the shilling, so...ackackACKACKACK!!! Noooooo! When reading Trollope, I am like the woman who stands up in the movie theater and shouts, "DON'T YOU GO BEHIND THAT STAIRCASE, HONEY! HE'S GONNA GET YOU WITH THE AXE! TAKE THOSE CHILDREN AND GET OUT OF THERE!"
So I'm going to finish this thing because of my experience with Scooby-Doo. But I liked it much better when people were just under threat of being eaten. Not so worrisome. Much calmer.