Prunella Scales does an amazing job narrating, but I found myself waiting for some sort of climax and was shocked and dismayed when the book ended without any.
The first half of this "novel" was enjoyable, right up until the Gilded Age. After that it was an unbearable slog. In fact, I'm pretty proud of myself for finishing it. This not your typical novel. Characters are introduced and stuff happens but characters also disappear to never return and there's really no central conflict. A family of slaves are part of the first third or so but are never reintroduced. Ethnicities are stereotyped and seem to be introduced and taken away at the whim of the author. If you're looking for something that might illustrate NYC's history then this is okay. Otherwise skip it.
I didn't really know what I was getting into when I downloaded this book. I was expecting it to be overly romantic and rather girly as my only real knowledge came from what I had gleaned from bits and pieces I had seen from movie clips.
This book is the story of antiheroine Scarlet's unwavering determination to survive and win at all costs and of, most heartbreakingly, her relationship with the blindly devoted Melanie.
This book has become an all-time favorite and I'm happily willing to admit that I wept at its conclusion. I urge you to read it or listen to it.
The preface to this book excuses the failure of its Broadway counterpart, to paraphrase, to Americans hatred of unhappy endings. Unfortunately "The House of Mirth" does not merely have an unhappy ending, it is unhappy in its entirety. A virtual list of sad coincidences followed by bad decisions on the part of its well-meaning protagonist Lily Bart, the novel becomes a predictable and laborious read/listen.
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