The house of mirth

From Charlene Muhr
author: Wharton, Edith
The house of mirth [sound recording]
I recently listened to the audio book The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, read by Barbara Caruso.  Caruso mesmerizes the listener with her reading of this classic novel.  Wharton’s novel was first published in 1905, and it was her first important work of fiction.  The novel deals with the social classes in the late nineteenth century.  Lily Bart is twenty-nine, unmarried, and obsessed with wealth and luxury.  She is dependent on her aunt for her meager allowance and the only way to secure her place among the upper class is to marry a wealthy man.  Lily has passed up some marriage proposals, always feeling she could do better.  She even turns away from her true love, Lawrence Selden, because he couldn’t provide her with the life she desired.  Lily’s obsessions, gambling addiction, and bad relationships, cause her to fall from her aunt’s good graces and be rejected by her friends.  Her world as she knows it collapses and she is faced with only one tragic choice.

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