The Age of Innocence

The majority of my reading consists of science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, and adventure novels. However, I do get a yen for classical literature from time to time. A short while ago I reread “The Good Earth” by Pearl Buck, a novel I had to read in high school as we were studying Nobel Prize authors. I was very much engaged by the story of Wang Lung and was surprised at how much I remembered from reading it over thirty years ago. I have just finished reading “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton, a novel I had been intending to read for the past several years. The story follows a young man of society before his engagement and after his subsequent marriage to another young lady of society, although the young man becomes infatuated and eventually falls in love with an almost “fallen” woman, a cousin of his wife who had left her husband, a Polish Count, for his poor behavior. The novel is a commentary on the the upper class of New York City in the 1870’s and its strict, rigid code of social custom and behavior. I found the novel to be cleverly written even if it took me longer than normal to slog through the elaborate prose. I usually feel wistful and contemplative after finishing a good book and “The Age of Innocence” was no exception. While I am still in my classical literature mood, I have begun reading “Sons,” the second novel in the trilogy by Pearl Buck that began with “The Good Earth.” I still feel the excitement of the adventure of pages yet to be read.

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Paulette Neal-Allen

Ah, a kindred heart! I’ll have to keep your suggestions in mind the next time I, too, get a yen for something more classical.