Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book Intro Tuesday - The House of Mirth

Book Intro Tuesday is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. 
Feel free to join in with an introduction to your newest read. 








Golly, I'm having a hard time getting into House of Mirth. Normally I like Edith Wharton's books but this one, so far, is ALL about learning to navigate the complicated rules of New York high-society in the 1910s. I'm about 50 pages in and like it enough to keep going but I do hope that something actually happens soon because my interest is fading.  It reads almost like a How-To book that will have a test at the end. Gah!


Opening paragraph:

Selden paused in surprise. In the afternoon rush of the Grand Central Station his eyes had been refreshed by the sight of Miss Lily Bart.
It was a Monday in early September, and he was returning to his work from a hurried dip in the country; but what was Miss Bart doing in town at that season? If she had appeared to be catching a train, he might have inferred that he had come on her in the act of transition between one and another of the country-houses which disputed her presence after the close of the Newport season; but her desultory air perplexed him. She stood apart from the crowd, letting it drift by her to the platform or the street, and wearing an air of irresolution which might, as he surmised, be the mask of a very definite purpose. It struck him at once that she was waiting for someone, but he hardly knew why the idea arrested him. There was nothing new about Lily Bart, yet he could never see her without a faint movement of interest: it was characteristic of her that she always roused speculation, that her simplest acts seemed the result of far-reaching intentions. 

I don't know. What do you think? Is it worth reading to the end? I know it's a famously historic novel from a much loved author so I will probably keep reading but I'm not sure it will end up being my favourite.

10 comments:

Harvee Lau said...

Let us know if you finish it and how you like it!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I can see what you mean...it is a book that I suspect is slow going. The language doesn't flow for me. But I'll be watching for your final thoughts.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Nise' said...

I started this one and did not keep going. It was a few years back, not sure I want to re-try.

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

I confess that it's been almost 20 years since I've read it, but I recall liking this title best of all the novels I read for a Wharton/Henry James seminar. Hope it improves upon aquaintance for you!

Daisy said...

I stumble over the wording in this, so I don't think this would be a favorite of mine either.

Margot said...

I'm not sure if I'd keep going. Although I'm wondering what this is about, it seems kind of sad.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

It's not an intro that makes me say "wow", but I would persist and give it a try. It's been 40 years since I've read this one.

Thanks so much for joining in this week.

thinkinginfragments said...

This is the only Wharton I've read and I was transfixed throughout. Please do go on with it; I really think it's worth the time and effort.

Paulita said...

Oh, sure. Keep going. It takes a real switch in mindframe to read a historic novel like this. They weren't so much about the action as we are today. Here's Mine

Trish said...

Well, I'm finding, like most historical novels, it takes a certain head-space to really get into it. I can do it and I'll finish it but it's taking more effort this time than usual. Why? I don't know. I think I need to come up for air and read something contemporary next.