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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton is exactly what it's cracked up to be.  Now, I love the classics as much as the next person, but I think this post from the blog Better Book Titles says it all.  If you are not an avid reader of this blog, you must become one now.  It's fabulous.

In wealthy New York circa the Guilded Age, Newland Archer is engaged to marry the beautiful May Welland.  Then one day he meets her even-more-beautiful cousin Countess Ellen Olenska who has (gasp!) left her husband.  Archer falls in love with Ellen but marries May as originally planned.  Then he pines for Ellen the rest of the book and has an emotional affair when the reader he realizes the feelings are mutual.

I enjoyed this book for it's story and its harking back to old manners, but I wanted to reach into the book and smack the protagonist, Archer, most of the time.  You made your choice, buddy, and you chose to be with May.  Dude, making grown-up decisions is hard but we all have to do it.  Quit your whining.

If you haven't read it you should.  If you have read it and loved it, sorry to have offended you.  If you read it and hated it, well, this review certainly isn't going to change your mind.  But you should always read the book and judge it for yourself.  Just don't say I didn't warn you that Archer will drive you nuts.

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