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While I prefer The House of Mirth, this is a great book with wonderful set pieces and a shrewd eye for satirizing New York society in the late 1800's. The central love story between Archer and Madame Olenska feels at times more like a concept to contrast the values of "Europe" and "old New York" than a passionate relationship, but Wharton's eye for convincing detail never falters. Barbara Caruso's voice has great depth and compassion. Her reading emphasizes some of the more comedic elements of the story, and at times I felt she was commenting on the material. But that's a matter of taste. I heard her read other books, and she's masterful.
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This book made me thankful for the freedom American women live in today. It impresses the attractiveness of being individual and thinking for oneself.
I loved the last chapter for it's telling of how the future played out.
A picture of stuffy high class New York society through Edith Wharton eyes.
Wharton won the Pulitzer prize for representing a "wholesome" atmosphere of American Life, over Sinclair Lewis "Main Street" a controversy came from the decision.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful