Hilary's Reviews > The Buccaneers

The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton
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Mar 04, 12

bookshelves: 2012
Read from February 25 to March 03, 2012

Edith Wharton left this novel unfinished at her death, and Marion Mainwaring finished it decades later. I was sailing on toward a 4-5 star rating until I reached that unfortunate transition. Wharton's beginning was wonderful, full of lively descriptions not only of the characters and their thought processes, but also of period elements that make books so enlightening. Mainwaring is a Wharton scholar, from my understanding, and while I'm glad she made it possible for this gem to be published more widely and with some attempt at resolution, the last quarter of the novel is not up to the first three. The melodrama steps up awkwardly and there is an underlying sense that the writer is not intimately familiar with the period as the original author. All the same, if you are needing a period-piece fix until the next season of Downton Abbey comes out, by all means pick up The Buccaneers to fill that void -- it's essentially Cora's story of how she and her American counterparts married into the English aristocracy.
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