Kathryn's Reviews > The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
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Jul 07, 09

bookshelves: classics
Recommended to Kathryn by: Melanie and Tyler
Read in July, 2008

Excellent! A thoughtful, beautiful, aching and acute investigation of the societal expectations of the elite in 1870s "Old" New York and how they mold one's life without ever allowing one to live his/her own life. Though some of the themes may seem a little "tired" by now, one must remember how fresh and startling this story was when it was first published. And Wharton's style is wonderful. I find it especially interesting that Wharton has chosen a male for her main character given the fact that at first this seems a tale of women's liberation to one degree or another--but I appreciated her focus on Archer and how his sympathies with the plights of women (especially in the face of cheating husbands, divorce, etc.) and his frustration with his own predetermined life, were so enmeshed with his duties and expectations as a male of one of the finest families in NY. How to escape this trap--even if it were possible, would it be right...? Difficult to say more without giving away the plot and character development, but certainly a story rich with possibilities for discussion!
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann I hope you enjoy!:)


Melanie Is this your first Edith Wharton? Do let me know what you think - I love Wharton, in a dark sort of way!


Kathryn Yes, it is--believe it or not! I'm hoping to finish it in the next few days. I've just got to "Book Two." So far, I'm really enjoying it. Thanks for recommending Wharton to me so enthusiastically over the years.


message 4: by Ann (new)

Ann You're making your way through this quite quickly! Nice!:>


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann This does sound really interesting! I'm glad you liked it so much, and that there was that "twist" (that's not the right word, but...) that it was a male lead.


message 6: by Qt (new)

Qt Sounds like quite a rich and unique book; I've never read Edith Wharton and may have to look into her books.


Melanie Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed Wharton!


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