Sharon's Reviews > The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton

The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge
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Jul 30, 10

bookshelves: england, biography, all-things-france

"The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton" is a well-researched and entertaining biography that would be suitable for young adults and up.

Using letters, diaries and photographs, Wooldridge tells the life story of author Edith Wharton ("Ethan Frome," "The Age of Innocence") without hiding the human frailties of her subject. Wharton's affairs, less-than-desirable marriage, etc., are discussed without too much prurient detail.

Wharton came from the same type of high society families she mocks in much of her writing, and "The Brave Escape" talks about her desire to break free of the strictures placed on her by the mores and expectations of her era. At the same time, she was very conventional in some of her thinking, and the conflict between those aspects of her personality is illustrated well by this book.

Some of the most interesting parts of the book discuss Wharton's charity work in Paris during World War I. I was unaware of her extensive work to help unemployed seamstresses and refugees during the period.

(Review based on uncorrected advance proof.)
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07/29/2010 page 62
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