Monday, August 26, 2013
The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields
About the Book:
I love it when I read a book that inspires me to search for more information...that makes me want to know more about an historical figure or sheds new light on a topic. That is exactly what reading The Age of Desire did for me, and I want to thank author Jennie Fields for sparking a new interest in the writings of Edith Wharton. Ethan Frome is the only Wharton novel that I have read (required college reading), but I am now very interested in reading The House of Mirth and her other novels with a much deeper understanding of the author's feelings and motivations.
I knew going into this book that when I would encounter Edith Wharton in the novel, it would be necessary to put aside modern sensibilities and twenty-first century attitudes to fully embrace her journey and awakening . It is challenging to look back at the repressive, restrictive attitudes and behavior of society in the early 1900's and not feel frustrated. However, that was the reality of the time period. Edith, trapped in an unhappy and unfulfulling marriage, turned to her writing for solace and her faithful friend and assistant, Anna Bahlmann, for companionship.
I thoroughy enjoyed Edith's evolution and discovery of her passions -- her visits to Parisian salons populated by artists, writers, and intellectuals opened her eyes to new ways of thinking and challenged her conventional attitudes. It also introduced her to a sensual world which she thought was forever closed to her -- her secret relationship with journalist Morton Fullerton would bring her both pleasure and great pain. Fields uses excerpts from Wharton's letters and diaries to enhance the story of an extraordinary and complex writer's exploration of relationships, her sexuality, and self-discovery. A very interesting read!
Title: The Age of Desire
Author: Jennie Fields
Publisher: Penguin Books
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Disclosure: I received a copy of The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.