The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence

Book - 2012
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Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

Newland Archer saw little to envy in the marriages of his friends, yet he prided himself that in May Welland he had found the companion of his needs--tender and impressionable, with equal purity of mind and manners. The engagement was announced discreetly, but all of New York society was soon privy to this most perfect match, a union of families and circumstances cemented by affection.
Enter Countess Olenska, a woman of quick wit sharpened by experience, not afraid to flout convention and determined to find freedom in divorce. Against his judgment, Newland is drawn to the socially ostracized Ellen Olenska, who opens his eyes and has the power to make him feel. He knows that in sweet-tempered May, he can expect stability and the steadying comfort of duty. But what new worlds could he discover with Ellen? Written with elegance and wry precision, Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece is a tragic love story and a powerful homily about the perils of a perfect marriage.

Commentary by William Lyon Phelps and E. M. Forster
Publisher: New York :, Vintage Books,, 2012
ISBN: 9780375753206
9780307291684
9780307949516
Branch Call Number: CLASSICS F WHA
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 21 cm

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patienceandfortitude Aug 19, 2012

Ultimately, I didn't really love this book. Maybe I've just reached a point in life where the ethics of love and the pressures of society don't interest me all that much. Not my cup of tea, although I liked the beginning and the end better than the middle.

filmguy86 Jun 14, 2012

I feel richer for the experience of this book! Wharton was certainly at the height of her literary prowess. The book is difficult, but the story--if you stick with it (especially around about pg. 100)--reaches out and applies to everyone who wishes to learn more about themselves. "The Age of Innocence" is more than literary modernism, or a relic of the Victorian Age in the US--it's a guide for understanding the roots of our society and how these traditions shape the surface of today.

m
macierules
Jun 06, 2011

I love this book - Edith Wharton has a very good sense of humour.

t
tinker_bell19
Jul 27, 2010

So boring I didn't even finish it....but my friend did and from what she told me it wasn't worth finishing.

hermlou Mar 27, 2010

Victorian New York City is the location of this novel. Wharton describes the constrictions of upper class society as she tells of a love story between Newland Archer and the exotic Countess Olenska. The language is rich and depicts the behaviour and language of the time. To me the best line was "atmosphere of faint implications and pale delicacies".

d
dms
Jul 16, 2008

Amazing book (and the film is good too). Again, Wharton shows the social pressures of the time and how they affect women, marriages and love. Old New York vs. New New York are pitted against each other as well.

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AL_SUSANW Oct 06, 2016

Scathing tale of societal pressure set in "Old New York".
Wharton at her best!

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d
dms
Jul 16, 2008

"Her eyes were wet with victory."

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