29. Twilight Sleep by E. Wharton
I love Modernist novels because of the importance the authors placed on its stories. Their characters told of a dull-aching, harrowing disenchantment that seemed to fill their lives when religion, family institutions, old traditions failed. This novel centers around a surprisingly Modern family who are wonderfully secretive and dysfunctional. Nona, the critical, ascerbic daughter, is my favorite. Lita is a Daisy from Gatsby-esque figure. Matriarch Pauline is wonderfully contradictory and elitist, but maintains a mission to save the world from her New York estate. The plot has its crescendo at the end of a "relaxing family vacation" at Pauline's country home, where no one will be the same. The reader is left with more than a few questions about morality, love and life. Very satisfying!