The House of Mirth
“She was so evidently the victim of the civilization which had produced her, that the links of her bracelet seemed like manacles chaining her to her fate.” ― Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth
If you have read anything by Wharton, you will know that mirth is rarely to be found in her work;-) That being said, her style of storytelling, for me at least, is so compelling and really draws you in. I liked this even more than The Age of Innocence, which was a surprisingly engaging novel, once you get past the fact that it's rather depressing. The House of Mirth is the story of Lily Bart, a beautiful young woman, who gets into money-related trouble, which haunts her for many years to come. What I found so fascinating about this book was not so much the story, but the character of Lily Bart, who stays with you long after you close the book. I am the kind of reader who can love a mediocre book if its characters are memorable, and Wharton just does really intriguing characters. Lily was not always likable; arrogant or proud at times, but those flaws were balanced with kindness and self-awareness, that made her multi-dimensional. In years to come, I will probably forget many of the story's details, but I think I will still remember Lily Bart. Now I have to find some of Wharton's other books, fortunately for me, she was quite prolific.