Age of Desire by Jennie Fields (Aug 2012)

Many of us have become Downton Abbey groupies.  We are living deprived, lonely existences until the next season begins and we can rejoin the characters and time period to which we have grown attached.  In the meantime, we seek out substitutes to tide us over.  Age of Desire is one such worthy experience.  It takes place a wee bit earlier, around 1908.  And it involves an American ex-patriot — Edith Wharton — in Paris and London, rather than entrenched British nobility.  But the relationship between Wharton and her onetime governess and then friend and secretary, Anna, reminds me of the ways in which boundaries are both reinforced and occasionally transcended despite class divisions in Downton Abbey.  Those divisions, involving as they do Americans in Age of Desire, are significantly less pronounced than among the British.  Yet they clearly color everything.  Henry James and Morton Fullerton feature prominently in this novel.  But the main focus is on Wharton — her writing, her marriage, her affair, and her relationship with Anna that permeated it all.  A recommended read.  Advance readers copy provided by the publisher and Netgalley.

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About Cheryl McNeil
I am the User Services Librarian at the Orangeburg Library in Orangeburg, NY

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