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Publisher's Summary

Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set in upper class New York City. Newland Archer, gentleman lawyer and heir to one of New York City's best families, is happily anticipating a highly desirable marriage to the sheltered and beautiful May Welland. Yet he finds reason to doubt his choice of bride after the appearance of Countess Ellen Olenska, May's exotic, beautiful 30-year-old cousin, who has been living in Europe. This novel won the first ever Pulitzer awarded to a woman.
Public Domain (P)2013 Trout Lake Media
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Customer Reviews

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By Janna Wong Healy on 05-17-13

Beautiful Book But Less-than-Beautiful Performance

Would you listen to The Age Of Innocence again? Why?

I wish I had the patience to sit through this narrator's reading one more time. As it was, I had to reverse and listen to sections over and over again due to her artistic choices so I feel like I have already listened to this book three or four times!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Age Of Innocence?

I love the passion of the two key characters, Newland and Ellen, which is heightened by their inability to declare their love openly. Any scene in which they appear together is tense but passionate...and certainly memorable.

Would you be willing to try another one of Mary Sarah’s performances?

No. While she articulates the prose well and reads Wharton's novel with enthusiasm, I felt her artistic choice to open every sentence loudly and end it in a whisper was difficult and annoying. I had to hit the rewind button far too many times which seriously harmed the experience for me,

Who was the most memorable character of The Age Of Innocence and why?

The three main characters - Newland, Ellen and May - are memorable and deeply drawn. While May is depicted as an innocent child-woman, she turns out to be very clever indeed. Bit. my favorite character is Newland, who maintains his dignity despite his passionate love for Ellen. Ultimately, he makes the right choice but his passion is deeply felt.

Any additional comments?

Although it's difficult to believe in our modern times that two people in love could have their love constrained in such a way, the novel's depiction of this forbidden love is beautifully rendered.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful


By maggie on 05-16-15

Amateur reader. Terrible pace and pronuniciation.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This is a wonderful but the reader Mary Sarah is so terrible I stopped after two chapters to see if I can find a better reader. Avoid her! She can't speak proper English, never mind French.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mary Sarah?

Imagine Juliet Stevenson

Any additional comments?

I feel like I should get a credit for this bad purchase. I guess I should have read the reviews.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Clavs on 06-15-16

Nice bittersweet story, average performance,

I really enjoyed the heady atmosphere of the writing, the narration could do better. The society that Wharton criticises is brought to life well by the narrator, but everything feels a little too fast moving and rushed. I would recommend listening to it at a slightly lower speed.

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By Sophie on 09-07-15

Dry narration and slow plot

What disappointed you about The Age Of Innocence?

I found the narration dry and uninteresting. I kept drifting away and not being bothered to go back to where I was last paying attention and I just found there to be nothing in the story to hold my attention.

Would you ever listen to anything by Edith Wharton again?

I don't think so. I would like to give her another go by physically reading her, however, as I've enjoyed short stories by her previously.

Would you be willing to try another one of Mary Sarah’s performances?

I have Anne of Green Gables narrated by her, but if I don't get along with that - I've already read it physically so I know I like the story - then I won't be listening to anything else narrated by Mary Sarah.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. I really, really wanted to like it.

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Customer Reviews

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By ana on 02-10-16

Quite a long and boring story

This was a very long and uninteresting story. There's a lot of prattle between characters and none of them are interesting enough or likeable enough to give you any real interest of what happens to them.

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