Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The House Of Mirth by Edith Wharton

This was one of the most depressing books I have ever read. There was no bright moment in sight. Nowhere to 'rest your eyes' so to speak, from deep darkness.

Lily Bart is one of the most tragic heroines in literature. There was absolutely no way of a happy ending for her. She was doomed from the start. She wanted a life that never really belonged to her. She couldn't stand the thought of 'lowering' herself to anything less than the upper class, and that led to her downfall. Bart was naive and vain and sometimes just downright stupid. She sacrificed everything instead of taking that one happy opportunity that was right in front of her face.

The House of Mirth shows the cruelty of the upper class New York society at the beginning of the 20th century better than any non-fiction book could. Wharton crafted a beautifully tragic story showing that the upper class isn't what it's cracked up be. She tore off the blinds and shows us the vile and ugliness.

I need to read a lighthearted book after reading this. I became almost depressed when I finished it


Mel u said...

I read "Age of Innocence" in July this year and have "House of ouse of Mirth" in my TBR list hopefully by Oct-
To me some of the phrases in "Age of Innocence" were so beatifully crafted that I was drawn to read them 4 or 5 times.
Thank you for your very perceptive review-I am engaged in two long term reading projects-one to read all of Henry James novels and two all of Edith Wharton.