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The Age of Innocence
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Thom Swennes (Yorrick) | 11 comments The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton is a story of another time and almost incomprehensible for the societies of the Twenty-first Century. Written in 1920, the story is about the rich families of New York in the 1870’s. This title is rather ambiguous as almost the entire story deals with a lie. Trying to live with the lie and look for peace and comfort. Newland Archer, an established New York lawyer, is engaged with May Welland and the announcement would be shortly publicly made. When he meets Ellen Olenska, a woman fleeing from an unfortunate European marriage, things soon become much more complicated. Newland realizes that he loves Ellen but his engagement to May makes the situation impossible. This proves to be an impossible task. This is a beautiful love story, full of pride, revelry, tradition, deceitfulness and emotional turmoil. The Age of Innocence is a great book for anyone who’s looking for naive love.
This said: I’m a romantic at heart and always look and hope for the best. To have loved is the greatest and most precious feeling a human being can feel. Sometimes circumstances are insurmountable and fate plays its hand as it does in this book. When are obstacles are gone, I can’t understand why someone would settle for second best and continue life without that true love. What do you think about this ending?

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Christa VG (christa-ronpaul2012) | 3184 comments It sounds like an itriguing and complex book worth a read. As for not going with your "true love" when you get the chance I am not sure. I don't really believe in true love so maybe I can't comment but those two getting otgether sound slike the man at least has to hurt another woman to get th eone he wants. He has to not marry May to marry the girl he wants, and what about the woman he wants did she have to leave a man behind for him?

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Haley Ooh, that sounds really interesting! It sounds like a book that would be wroth reading, but that would also be kind of heart-breaking; books like that can be wonderful.

Mari The ending left me a little disappointed. I so wanted him to go up and see her. I waited so long in hopes of the reconnection. I have of recent come to terms with books not ending the way I want them to. So I can see the importance of his respecting his past and family as well as the realization that his life was complete.

Mari I also think that Ellen did not want to be "second best". I would like to think all characters have closure, & settled into their lives happily.

Kimberly | 145 comments I was also disappointed with the ending. I wanted him to go up to her apartment so badly. After doing what was "right" he deserved his true love. I don't think I really understood why he didn't. I really liked this book, otherwise. :)

Terry Candee | 72 comments I n the modern world he would have gone up to see her and resumed a relationship that could have given them years of happiness. However in the "old days" people had such pride and concern about reputation, they would suffer loneliness and misery before allowing their social standing to have a "smudge" on it.

thank goodness we live in modern times, right?

Anne | 1 comments Newland was forced to construct a reality in which the memory of Ellen, and the vision of life with her, became a faraway, treasured dream. The duality between his everyday existence and that lost, sweet dream was the structure upon which his life would be based.

How, then, could he meet with Ellen at the end? "It's more real to me here than if I went up," Newland realizes as he sits on the bench outside her apartment.

Sad. But one never expects a happy ending with Edith Wharton, right?

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