The House of Mirth: 100th Anniversary Edition (Google eBook)
A literary sensation when it was published by Scribners in 1905, The House of Mirth quickly established Edith Wharton as the most important American woman of letters in the twentieth century. The first American novel to provide a devastatingly accurate portrait of New York's aristocracy, it is the story of the beautiful and beguiling Lily Bart and her ill-fated attempt to rise to the heights of a heartless society in which, ultimately, she has no part.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
There is something about the way Wharton describes the very rich of late 1800s America, in The House of Mirth, that can only really be captured with the very delicate paper of this edition. Of the story, it is the imperfect natures of the characters that draws me in and the fact that, whilst they resolve some issues, they are still flawed in the end. It may not be as gritty as some novelists with the setting, but it feels as though the emotions are...it helps to remind me that the glittering world of money isn't an Austen-esque world.
My Dear Friend Lily BartUser Review - Overstock.com
"...but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth." And so, this book is filled with fools of society. They are painted as vain, materialistic, selfish, driven superficially by the society they live in. Lily Bart, our heroine, lives in this society almost unwillingly. She knows her role in society and though she sets out to fulfill it, she knows she doesn't want it. With every attempt to fulfill that role, she comes to realizations and grows more averse to it. At the same time, she refuses roles she believes would be good for her, because it wasn't what society had wanted. Lily Bart is not a character who embodies perfection, but that is what makes her so perfectly human and allows us to be so attuned to her. I felt her sorrows. I saw her difficulties and struggles. I wanted her to be happy. But life can be hard and so cruel and my friend Lily Bart's story ended tragically. I felt her loss keenly. I felt empty with her gone and her life played back in my memories. ...