There amongst the glib diversions of the newly rich, she seeks a husband who can not only maintain her in this charmed existence, but can also provide unstinting admiration.
Scandal, however, intervenes. Accused of being the mistress of a wealthy married man, Lily must withdraw from society. She becomes a milliner, but finds life outside the hothouse unendurable.
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An academic who listens to novels on runs and commutes to campus.
Having now read Ethan Frome and Age of Innocence and listened to The House of Mirth, I can say that Edith Wharton is an unsympathetic author. She expects her characters and readers to look at the world through an objective lens. She places her characters into situations that have extreme consequences, and part of her program, so it seems, is to see how people will respond when tempted. What seems a small decision lingers throughout the narrative, especially for Lilly Bart, whose life descends into degradation as she is forced to compromise who she is for the sake of money. Simple decisions exact a terrible toll on her, and in the end, she succumbs to the hardships of her existence. If you enjoy happy endings or you feel too much for characters, then Edith Wharton might not be the author for your tastes. If you, on the other hand, expect a text to point to larger truths of how society functions--here late 19th/early 20th century--then her books are a fine source of how so much of life depends on the external forces of other people.
Such an amazing story!
The narrator was wonderful, I think she did a great job of changing her voice and portraying each character accurately. I was very impressed with her performance.
Love this book, I'd recommend it to anyone.
Transcends the novel-of-manners about aristocrats genre....a study of human relationships and pride. Won't forget for a long time. Narrator does a great job differentiating among characters without falling into caricature.
This was my first listen and I enjoyed it very much!
The voice of the narrator and how she changed her voice from character to character.
The style of writing is delicious. But I just know if I tried to read it my eyes would gloss over with a quickness. Ms. Bron's narrating style allows the meanings of any complicated sentences to be put together and understood. Not anyone could do that. I enjoyed listening so much I'm moved to comment. Thank you Eleanor Bron!
While I had seen the film adaptation of this book, it pales in comparison to the book. The narrator could not have been better as her tone and subtleties very much lent themselves to the storyline.
Although I knew the ending going in, I still kept hoping for a different outcome. That is how engrossing this experience was for me.
This is the first book I've read by Edith Wharton and, trust me, I'll be reading as many as I can from here on out! I found myself constantly upset with the center of the novel, Lily Bart, because of her ego, her reluctance to accept the love being offered to her upon nearly every encounter with a male (though one she was wise to refuse), and her inability (or, rather, lack of effort) to crawl out of the hole she had dug for herself in the final chapters of the book.
But, no matter what the author was expressing, I've seldom seen more beautifully constructed sentences, painting an exquisite picture of the characters' surroundings, moods and behaviors. Not only does she display a wonderful landscape, she also delivers bits of wisdom here and there to keep the reader from falling into Lily's debacle.
"In whatever form a slowly-accumulated past lives in the blood - whether in the concrete image of the old house stored with visual memories, or in the conception of the house not built with hands, but made up of inherited passions and loyalties - it has the same power of broadening and deepening the individual existence, of attaching it by mysterious links of kinship to all the mighty sum of human striving."
Eleanor Bron's performance of the novel is terrific, with discernible accents for specific characters and the ability to fluently express the author's tremendous work. Well done, indeed.
I am a big Edith Wharton fan, and I love The House of Mirth. Eleanor Bron's reading is extraordinary, and brought a whole new dimension to this masterpiece. Fair warning: this book is anything by mirthful. It is a very sad, but very thought-provoking exploration of ethics, morality, and personal responsibility,revealed through the life story of Lily Bart and the people in her circle of the New York elite in the early 20th century. I defy anyone to listen through to the end of this book without being moved. Well done!
This is my second Edith Wharton book.
I liked Age of Innocence both as a book and a film.
But I find The House of Mirth more interesting to me.
That's why I chose this audiobook, and the narrator's voice
The novel has wonderful prose but, despite its cynicism, a sentimentality and moral flavour that doesn't always ring true to a modern ear. But Eleanor Bron reads it so beautifully and with such wit and feeling that she lends it the lightness it sometimes needs. A classic novel to which the narrator more than does justice.
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