The House of Mirth was a did-not-finish for me, which is an utter shame because I ordinarily love Edith Wharton. I made it halfway through, but never connected with the main character, Lily Bart. I was at a loss for much of the book and grew bored, which we know is never a good sign. Weariness often breeds contempt.
Lily Bart struggles with two things – her desire for wealth and comfort and her longing for a marriage of love and adoration. Because of this she has thrown over a few marriage proposals that would support her lavish lifestyle. She is now age 29 and still trying to find a husband to the detriment of her family. Her specific tastes have aided in the ruination of her family and Lily is trying to find alternative means to buy her way out, including gambling. When several social upsets plague Lily it becomes clearer that nothing will end well.
It seems promising enough, but I checked out. I found myself scanning long pages of narrative descriptions instead of soaking them up. When the skimming goggles are on my face it’s time to rethink. Part of me really wanted to finish just because it’s Edith Wharton (and more because it’s sat on my shelf for two decades). However, I began to think of my other books and how little patience I have for annoying texts. When I realized I was giving this book infinitely more credit just because it is a classic, and therefore I should “like” it, I realized I had to abandon. I wouldn’t give this much time to anything else, so why this book?
Also, you know it’s a bad sign when the thoughts “maybe I should just watch the movie?” crosses your consciousness. A terribly bad sign.
I wanted to love it, but I just couldn’t. To quote a co-worker of mine when I revealed I was reading it “It’s a poor man’s Age of Innocence
“. And that is all.
1 out of 5 stars. If you’re interested in reading Wharton, pick of Age of Innocence. I highly recommend that book.