Oct 05, 07
Read in August, 2007
Maybe this book got five stars from me because it has sentimental value - my mother enjoyed the movie enough to buy the tape, which was an extravagance for her, and I grew up watching it over and over again and really enjoying it. Amazingly, I never read the book until quite recently. I had only ever read Ethan Frome by Wharton before, which is certainly a good book, but also sort of an after-school special. (KIDS: DON'T ADULTERATE AND TOBAGGON.) I passionately loved Age, though. Wharton's characters' convoluted social maneuvers are executed with the same subtle, elegant precision with which she writes about them. It is a vivid and complex social critique, and all the more interesting to me because it comes from a privileged male character's perspective - I'm more accustomed to reading such novels from the hapless female character's POV. (Hardy, I am glaring in your direction.) The ending is deeply satisfying to me - although I wish it would have turned out differently, I simply cannot imagine it having done so. And I highly recommend the movie as well - wonderful acting and a script that literally follows the novel word for word.