However, as they honeymoon in friends' lavish houses, from a villa on Lake Como to a Venetian palace, jealous passions and troubled consciences cause the idyll to crumble.
©2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
I wasn't thrilled with the reading. Except in very rare cases, I prefer that men don't go to great ends to sound like women and vice versa, This reader's renditions of the more eccentric masculine characters sound kind of ridiculous. On the other hand, when she is simply reading, her voice is perfect for the story and the mood of the book, which I very much enjoyed.
This is a sweet, predictable piece of escapist chic lit. Yes, I did enjoy it on that level, but if you are looking for a story that has depth, characters that behave like real people or some food for thought move on to something else.
Sorry, Kate Harper, but I kept picturing muppets talking whenever you do a man's voice. I blame the director, not you.
'The Age of Innocence' is one of my favorite novels, and I'm even pretty fond of 'The House of Mirth' right up until that miserable ending, so I was excited to get into this novel, which I've heard to be lauded as Wharton's masterpiece of the Roaring 20's. 'The Glimpses of the Moon' wasn't exactly disappointing. The characters are lively and sharply drawn, and this is pretty satisfying on a level that enjoys a good romance novel.
Besides the muppet voices, though, I think that my problem with this book is that I've seen this story way too many times. Girls were taking their futures into their own hands, but still letting their silly little hearts get in the way. Maybe in those days, it was fresh and exciting to suggest that a woman might enter into a sham marriage for business reasons, only to fall in love with her husband when it's seemingly too late. 90 years later, this is just about exactly the plot of movies like 'The Engagement' and 'The Wedding Date." Edith Wharton's version is at least more interesting, in that its' characters have more depth, and it wasn't so simple for me to figure out what choice I wanted the two protagonists to make in the end.
Speaking of the end, without giving away any spoilers, the last 30 seconds may have been my favorite part. Good ol' Edith Wharton really came a long way in the art of ending a story with a balance of subtle symbolism, realism and a that's-a-wrap-but-what-could-possibly-come-next? that keeps me, the reader, coming back for more.
Anyway, this book presents an interesting viewpoint that won't seem satisfying to today's feminists or yesterday's moralists: essentially, you CAN'T have it all, and trying to do so with your smarts will only complicate the matter.
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