The Age of Desire

Edith Wharton’s, The House of Mirth, is one of my favorite books.  It quite simply blew me away.  There were so many times her words stole my breath — like music — expressing the inexpressible. I’m unable to lend my copy to anyone as I’ve marked up the margins…considerably.

Each time I come to the last page of one of Wharton’s books and face those impending words, THE END, sadness creeps in.  I simply can’t get enough.

So, you can imagine how happy I was when I saw the recently published, The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields, on one of my various newsfeeds.

The Age of Desire is about the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist Edith Wharton with (of course) some historically fictionalized dialog and writing liberties taken in order for the book to read like a story.  And it reads so beautifully!

Author Jennie Fields, a Wharton enthusiast herself, put great effort into weaving together a journey through Edith’s life enabling us to get a glimpse of Wharton’s family, friends (such as Henry James), and her many travels between New York, Lenox, Massachusetts, and Europe making the book a very readable and enjoyable story.

Seeing Edith in all her humanity, her struggles, her broken relationships, and of course the process of her writing made Edith-the-person very real for me.

There are plenty of tidbits that admirers of Wharton might appreciate in the book.  Personally, seeing how Edith’s mother may have subtly played a part in the creation of the character, Undine Spragg, was in and of itself an epiphany.

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