Title: The House of Mirth (which is taken from a verse in Ecclesiastes. It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. Ecclesiastes 7:2).
Author: Edith Wharton.
Synopsis: In 1905, Lily Bart is part of the elite group of fashionable rich society in New York. But slowly her extravagant tastes exceed her small income. Further thrusting her out of society is the implied - but totally untrue - accusations by her friends of having an affair with a married man.
My rating: 8/10 stars.
Why I liked the story: The story is so fabulously interesting. There were very few high class families with a lot of money in the early 1900's. Most people, like today, were middle class or lower class.
Though some may find it dry, it is very, very interesting and I thought the writing style was beautiful.
You can clearly see the downfall of Lily... which I think is a cool writing technique. You can see her go from rich to poor and also lose some of her prejudices in her downfall. It's really cool.
The characters are pretty cool too. I especially like Gerty Farish and Seldon... though he's kind of sad.
Lily's morals are somewhat mixed, but good overall. I appreciate that. She won't create a scandal (even though her friends are weaving one around her).
What I didn't like/things you should know/some more of my thoughts: It can be confusing sometimes because of the writing style... Lots of big words strung together and old fashioned terms. It can also be confusing because there are SO many characters!!! Lily Bart, Seldon, Gerty, Carry Fisher (haha. You Star Wars fans get that), the Gormers, the Brys, the Trenors, the Van Alstynes, the Van Osbourghs, the Dorsets, Mr. Rosedale, the aunt lady whose name I forgot... Ned Silverton... Grace Stepney... Jack Stepney and his wife Grace.... That's about all the main-est ones... There are a few other characters too. Talk about confusing! Oh... I forgot Percy Gryce and Lily's two employers (because she is brought low enough that she has to work at the end of the book. There's also Hattie and her husband George... They have a baby that Lily holds near the end of the book).
This is kind of a depressing book. You kind of feel like yelling at Lily the whole way through the book. She loves wealth and money and comfort but she doesn't have money and is in debt, just to fit in with her rich friends. She needs (and she longs) to marry someone rich so that she can pay off her debts and to continue the rich life. But somewhere in the back of her mind, Lily knows that is a futile way to live. But she loves comfort and rich stuff too much to give it up. She is also somewhat in love with Seldon which stops her from marrying Percy Gryce. It also stops her from doing some bad things later on in the book.
Anyway, she has several instances where, had she said yes, she would have been happy. She doesn't though, and ends up... well, read the book and find out. It doesn't end happily.
There are the hinted at affairs.... People think that she has an affair with two married men. That doesn't actually happen. Some other characters, however, do have affairs. Nothing is explicit, though, since this was written in 1905. Also, it is kind of hard to pick out the real meaning of some of the things said because of the old fashioned language (which, for some reason, is harder to read in this book than in Jane Austin!).
A few bad words scattered here and there. Nothing too horrible.
Have I read it before? Nope.
Will I read it again? Probably sometime in the future!
Would I recommend it: I would, but to certain audiences. If you aren't a fan of depressing, descriptive, social commentaries, this book isn't for you.
Live long and prosper! I'm off to write write write! Camp NaNo ends tomorrow!!!!