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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More


Xingu by Edith Wharton

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on December 7, 2010
Posted in Edith WhartonShort Story Read in 2010  | 10 Comments

I have read two Edith Wharton novels so far, my favorite being,The Age of Innocence.  I plan to read more one of these days but I also wanted to check out some of her short stories.  Xingu happened to work out well with the Historical Fiction Alphabet Challenge that I am in.

Xingu starts out with a ladies lunch club that was formed by ladies who enjoyed culture and the arts but didn’t want to be seen going to events alone.  It wasn’t decent to do that at the time.  They met to discuss a book by an author that they invited to one of their up-coming meetings.  However, Mrs. Roby neglected to read the book.

Mrs. Roby wrinkled her sunny brows in a conscientious effort of memory, as a result of which she recalled that, oh, yes, she HAD seen the book at her brother’s, when she was staying with him in Brazil, and had even carried it off to read one day on a boating party; but they had all got to shying things at each other in the boat, and the book had gone overboard, so she had never had the chance–“

 The other members gossiped about Mrs. Roby and discussed if she was an appropriate member of the club.  
The next meeting was at Mrs. Ballinger’s home.  She hadn’t prepared as well as she would have liked for the guest author and hadn’t picked a topic of discussion.  However, Mrs. Roby was able to come up with one off the top of her head during the meeting and asked the author a question about Xingu.  The rest of the ladies were relived that Mrs. Roby was such a quick thinker and came to the rescue.  The discussion progressed and then both Mrs. Roby and the author had to leave.
The rest of the ladies didn’t like how both left so abruptly but continued the discussion of Xingu.  However, one by one they all admitted that they knew nothing about it.  They decided to look it up.  
You’ll have to read it to see what happened next.

Though I was able to guess a piece of the ending before it came, I did enjoy this story.  It got quite funny during the scene where they discussed Xingu.  Edith Wharton has a way of capturing ladies of society in an amusing way.  You can read Xingu, here.

Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on November 26, 2009
Posted in ClassicsEdith WhartonHistorical Fiction  | 21 Comments

 

I scoured my already read list trying decide which book to choose for the letter “A” and it was tough going for awhile.  I thought of a couple a books and then thought, “darn, they are memoirs.  Historical, yes but not fiction.  Then I came up with two great contenders.  Then thought, I reviewed those just last year.  I know they would be acceptable but I was hoping to come up with something better and better, I did!
I read The Age of Innocence back in 2006, before I started my blog and before I started reviewing all the book I have read.  I did keep track of the books I read, with a spiral notebook and pen.  I included the Title, author, my rating, and a few scribbled thoughts.
I think The Age of Innocence deserves more from me.. so here it is.
I saw the movie when it first came out years ago.  I really loved it but didn’t think to read it.  Then a friend recommended the book to me.  She couldn’t believe I hadn’t read it.  She said, “you love the classics but you have never read The Age of Innocence?”  She was almost outraged.  LOL!  So I got a copy and read it.
Since it has been awhile since I read it, I am going to use the description on the back of the book for those of you who haven’t read it:

Into the narrow social world of New York in the 1870s comes Countess Ellen Olenska, surrounded by shocked whispers about her failed marriage to a rich Polish Count. A woman who leaves her husband can never be accepted in polite society. Newland Archer is engaged to young May Welland, but the beautiful and mysterious Countess needs his help. He becomes her friend and defender, but friendship with an unhappy, lonely woman is a dangerous path for a young man to follow – especially a young man who is soon to be married.

My thoughts:
I totally got lost in this sumptuous book.  I had no idea I was reading, as I became a character in the story.  It felt like I was witnessing first hand.  This book is a feast of words,  with biting humour and institutionalized hypocrisy of the upper-class late 19th century New York.  This is a must read for all historical fiction and classics lovers.

4.5/5


Also reviewed by:

Book-a-rama

Did I miss your review?  Please leave me your link in the comments. 


This post is also for Woman on Wednesdays (WOW).  Want to know about other excellent female authors or do you have any to share?  Go to West of Mars’ Rocks ‘n Reads every Wednesday and look for Susan’s WOW post.

Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.