The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Challenges: The Classic Circuit
Synopsis: From Audible.com Lily Bart, a beautiful, intelligent, but penniless young woman, lives on the outskirts of New York's high society, craving the luxurious lifestyle of her wealthy contacts. But while Lily possesses the grace, taste, and morality of the ideal turn-of-the-century lady, her delicate innocence threatens her survival in that very world. As she fights to maintain her newfound place among the aristocracy, Lily struggles mightily against what lurks beneath all the glitter and gold - greed, vulgarity, and ruthless competition. In her brilliantly perceptive novel, The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton, the peerless, Pulitzer Prize-winning chronicler of Old New York, provides yet another heartbreaking glimpse into the world of manners, privilege, betrayal, and shocking falls from grace.
My Thoughts: Unfortunately this is going to be my first abandoned book of the year. I found Lily to be far to annoying for me to be able to finish the book. I listened to it on audio and I missed loads because I got distracted since the book didn’t keep my attention.
The language was beautiful but did at times ramble. To my mind nothing really happened. Lily was to blame for her predicament in life. She was arrogant and entitled. She had a great deal of distain for all those around her. She was snobbish and plain annoying.
What it did show quite well was how trapped women of Lily’s class were. If they were not independently wealthy they were dependent on a husband or on relatives. They had few chances to earn their own money and they weren’t educated to take care of themselves. This issue is of great interest to me and possibly why I stuck with the book for as long as I did.
The narrator was actually quite good. She managed to capture the tone of Lily and her world very well. There was also none of the annoying music one sometimes gets with audio book.
I really wish I had liked it more than I did. Maybe I will try and read a physical copy of it.