I read this because I am reading up on La Corriveau, a supposed witch/ghost story from Quebec. Kirby was one of the writers who contributed, in part, to the blackening of her name.
This is a typical Victorian romance. The evil women are far, far, far more interesting than the flawless good girls, who nicely die before losing their virginity. But it is does have a good sense of time and place. The book is best when the bad guys and girls are center stage, which is undoubtedly why Kirby let them take over the story.