Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Age of Innocence, by Edith Warthon

Today I finished reading the first book I bought since I got to Singapore: The Age of Innocence, by Edith Warthon. I was looking for a 300-page cheap book, and the edition of Vintage Classics was perfect to fulfill my requests. I also chose it because I had seen the name of the book in several lists of the best novels of the 20th century, and I thought I couldn't go wrong with it.

The Age of Innocence was first published in 1920, and it won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize. The story is set in upper class New York City in the 1870s. It depicts the love story of Newland Archer, a succesful lawyer, and May Welland, a beautiful young lady from an important family. But there is no interesting love story without a third wheel, who is played by Countess Ellen Olenska, May's cousin. It is not just a love story, but a reflect of a society that lacks comprehension, that acts superficially and that can protect you today and kill you tomorrow. I liked the book, but I would never read it again. I think that the vocabulary was way too complicated (that hadn't happened to me in a long time) and the story wasn't captivating.

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