Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The House of Mirth

Today's a super special day for me, it's David's birthday!  My husband is a whole year older and we're going to celebrate with my dad (who just happens to be working in Tulsa this week) tonight.  Steaks and coconut cream pie are on the docket, so I'll be in the kitchen most of the rest of today.  Perhaps I'll share a few pics tomorrow...we'll see!  But, in the meantime I'll catch you up on a bit more of my recent reads...

OK, so you know that I'm reading up Edith Wharton novels in preparation for reading The Age of Desire.  Well, last on my short list was The House of Mirth.  I'll give you a quick lowdown...

The main premise of this novel is that it's a critique of manners within the 1890s New York aristocracy.  It's a tragedy surrounding the personal and social life of Lily Bart.  Lily grows up within this very snobbish and luxurious society where everyone is supposed to act their part...and if they don't, WELL.  For shame! 

Lily's parents tend to live a little above their means, but her mother is sure that Lily will marry well.  However, Lily believes in marrying for love and turns down many financially advantageous proposals.  She ends up whiling away until her parents die, then she goes to live with an aunt. 

I don't really want to go into a lot of detail, unless you perhaps do want to read this at some point.  But, Lily's life is on a downhill slide.  Lily's early adolescence turns out to be the climax of her existence and because she's picky romantically and likes to occasionally exert her opinion vocally, her downfall is soon reached. 

I really thought this book was rather depressing.  Who wants to know that your life can end up in tatters because you want to be happy and are, therefore, picky and articulate?  I think that was the point Wharton was trying to make, but still.  Needless to say, I will not be re-reading this any time soon.  The Age of Innocence is definitely my favorite of the Edith Wharton trio that I've read.

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