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Publisher's Summary

The beautiful, much-desired Lily Bart has been raised to be one of the perfect wives of the wealthy upper class, but her spark of character and independent drive prevents her from becoming one of the many women who will succeed in those circles. Though her desire for a comfortable life means that she cannot marry for love without money, her resistance to the rules of the social elite endangers her many marriage proposals. As Lily spirals down into debt and dishonor, her story takes on the resonance of classic tragedy.
The House of Mirth is a lucid, disturbing analysis of the stifling limitations imposed upon women of author Edith Wharton's generation. Herself born into Old New York Society, Wharton watched as an entirely new set of people living by new codes of conduct entered the metropolitan scene.
In telling the story of Lily Bart, Wharton recasts the age-old themes of family, marriage, and money in ways that transform the traditional novel of manners into an arrestingly modern tale of one woman's struggle to succeed.
(P)2008 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Lissa on 02-19-10

Good book, one suggestion...

Very good book. One suggestion for future listeners: If I had it to do over, I might have gone with another narrator. The one for this version has a very girlish quality that I really liked, however her voice was also very gravelly and after awhile, that started to bother me. Just a small issue, but something to consider!

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful


By Jonelle on 08-11-14

Beautiful People with Ugly Interiors

What constraints women lived under in 1905! Edith Wharton didn't take the easy way out in this chronicle of Lily Barth's rise and fall in society, and the horrible way her 'friends' and the men in her life treated her. It puts all those beautiful mansions in Newport and along the Hudson in perspective.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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