The Age of Innocence
by Edith Wharton
Hi again!! I am back today with another classic book revisited. I read this for my historical fiction romance group on Goodreads for February. I never got around to writing a review of it though. I think that this book is interesting because it is a gentleman’s tale of unrequited love. The setting is New York in the late 1880s.
Newland Archer is engaged to marry May Welland. She is the perfect wife for him. Then onto the scene comes the scandalous and disgraced Countess Olenska, whom Newland falls in love with. She seeks his counsel about pursuing a divorce and Newland states that it is not an acceptable idea. That it will ruin the reputation of both her and her family. Newland choses to honor his engagement and marry someone who he doesn’t love. May even gives him an opportunity to opt out of the marriage. Newland did what society expected of him at the expense of his happiness. Later at the end of the novel when Newland is older and there are no impediments to a relationship with the Countess, he choses not to renew his connection with her. It seems he is happy to live with his dreams and fantasies.
While this is proclaimed one of Wharton’s finest works, it is not one of my favorites. I like some of her other books better than this one. This book is a slow starter and kind of meanders on. I fell asleep trying to read it several times. I give this book 3 and 1/2 stars out of 5.