''A Tangled Web'' is one of the few books published by Creator/LMMontgomery (author of ''Literature/AnneOfGreenGables'') that was written mainly for adults. It centers around a community consisting mainly of two families, the Penhallows and the Darks, who have intermarried frequently amongst one another.

When the clan matriarch, Aunty Becky Dark, dies, she leaves instructions for a treasured family heirloom, the old Dark jug, to be left in the care of a trustee, with the true heir to be revealed in a year's time. Family feuds intensify, as clan members work to acquire the heirloom, and many other events spawn off from it.

!! This work includes examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Brian is raised by his neglectful aunt and uncle.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Aunt Becky's dying confession is that she loved her married friend Crosby all her life; Roger loves Gay, who is engaged to Noel; Joscelyn and Hugh each believe that the other hates them; Murray pines for Thora, an abused wife; Naomi longs for her amnesiac husband to remember her ... plus several more examples that would take too long to write.
* AlphaBitch: Nan who has gone out her way to hurt her cousin Gay since childhood.
* BettyAndVeronica: Gay and Nan.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: The Darks and Penhallows.
* ChristmasCake: Margaret Penhallow, Mercy Penhallow.
* TheClan
* CourtlyLove: Murray for Thora. Mercilessly parodied with [[spoiler: Joscelyn]], who [[spoiler:left her husband on her wedding night because she fell in LoveAtFirstSight with his best man Frank]]. She stayed faithful to [[spoiler:Frank's memory for ten years]] without ever seeing him, but when they meet again, guess what? He's fat, bald, sleazy and broke. [[spoiler:Joscelyn]] comes to her senses with a vengeance, [[spoiler:goes back to Hugh]], and lives happily ever after.
* CurtainsMatchTheWindow: Gay Penhallow has golden-brown hair and golden-brown eyes.
* DatingWhatDaddyHates: Donna and Peter, who belongs to a rival branch of the family.
-> '''Drowned John''': "You shall never speak to Peter Penhallow again!"
-> '''Donna''': "But I'll have to speak to him sometimes, Daddy. One can't live on terms of absolute silence with one's husband, you know."
* DomesticAbuse: Chris Dark is an abusive husband to his wife Thora.
* EnsembleCast: There is no one main character.
* GameBetweenHeirs: Aunt Becky willed that the name of the heir of a priceless heirloom will only be disclosed a year after her death. Because she said that the heir may or may not be chosen in the year between her death and the day the heir is announced, the family members spend the rest of the year trying their best to live up to what Aunt Becky would have wanted in an attempt to win the heirloom.
* GreekChorus: Pippin and Stanton Grundy.
* GossipyHens
* HaveAGayOldTime: Poor, poor Gay Penhallow.
* HerHeartWillGoOn: Virginia Powell, a sentimental war widow, parodies this trope.
* InTheBlood: Gay's mother questions the suitability of her daughter's fiance based upon his "Gibson blood". A certain branch of the Penhallow family, including Peter and Joscelyn, are known for mood swings and impulsiveness because they're descended from a Spanish woman.
* IronicNickname: Big Sam, Little Sam -- though not intentionally.
* JerkAss: Plenty, but Aunt Becky would be the more prominent example.
* KicktheDog: Brian's uncle who kills Cricket, a stray cat who is Brian's only companion, by breaking its neck.
* KissingCousins: The Darks and Penhallows continue to intermarry very frequently.
* KnownOnlyByTheirNickname: Gay (Gabrielle); Nan (Hannah); Drowned John; Pippin (Alexander); Dandy (Robert); Penny (Pennycuik); the Moon Man (Oswald); Big Sam and Little Sam; Aunt Becky.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Lawson Dark, due to an injury in the war, can't remember his wife.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters
* LoveAtFirstSight: Donna and Peter, [[spoiler:Joscelyn and Frank]] (on her side anyway).
* LoveTriangle: Buckets of them.
* {{MacGuffin}}: The jug.
* MakeUpIsEvil: Aunt Becky's wearing rouge shocks her companion, and she makes Nan wash hers off.
* MaleGaze: Several times, but special mention goes to Murray, who's describes as "devouring" Thora with his eyes.
* MamasBabyPapasMaybe: Brian. His mother never told, and so no one knows who his father is.
* MayDecemberRomance: Roger and Gay.
* NarrativeProfanityFilter: Drowned John, "by asterisk and by asterisk".
* NeverLiveItDown: In-universe. Aunt Becky knows dozens of embarrassing stories to needle her relatives with.
* OldFlameFizzle: Used twice, with Joscelyn and Gay.
* OrphansOrdeal: Brian.
* PassedOverInheritance: Without the objections. The narrator points out they are not so petty as to want her money; they want the family heirlooms.
* RunawayBride: Joscelyn leaves her husband to return to her mother's house on the night of her wedding, still wearing her wedding dress.
* SlapSlapKiss: Donna and Peter.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Penny.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Gay gives this speech to Nan when Nan comes to gloat about dumping the fiance she had originally stolen from Gay.
* ThickerThanWater: The Darks and Penhallows fight quite a bit against themselves, but present an unbroken front to outsiders.
* [[spoiler:TheUnreveal: Dandy loses Aunt Becky's letter and we never get to find out who was chosen as the rightful owner of the jug]].
* UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne: Referred to. Donna Dark and Virginia Powell lost their husbands in the war. Roger Dark was in the airforce.
* TheVamp: Nan.
* YourCheatingHeart: [[spoiler: Noel cheats on Gay with her cousin Nan before breaking the engagement.]]
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