Firstly, even though the author is H.G. Wells you should not harbor any notion that this is a work of science fiction.
It is however a rather interesting story of the dual coming of age of a woman and a society in a time of dramatic social change. This book provides the missing link between Jane Austen's era where the notion of an independent woman encompassed little more than a woman who did not automatically marry the first man of means who proposed to her and our modern era where we fully accept the notion of a "man-equal" female character like Heinlein's Friday. And the transformation is a most interesting, exciting, and at times enlightening one. As Ann Veronica wanders through the political and social landscape of Victorian England we are exposed to the rather startling sentiments of the time and the rather harrowing and bold adventures she undertakes in her journey to freedom, as well as to a panoply of interesting characters (like the man hating Mrs. Miniver and the absolute cad Mr. Ramage).
This book is not for everyone, but it is a very worthwhile and entertaining read if you can get into it.