Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Twilight Sleep (Wharton)

Yes, I know, I still haven't got around to reading and writing about The House of Mirth, probably Edith Wharton's most famous novel, which is particularly bad as I was given a copy by Cate from the librarything VMC group. So what was I doing reading Twilight Sleep? Well, as I explained recently, I've not got any spare money to spend on VMCs at the moment, and they are somewhat of a rarity in my local library (or if they are there, they're ones that I've read). So when I DID spot a VMC that I hadn't read, I had to take it out, and somehow library books are always more pressing than the TBR.

Like some of her other books, it's a portrayal of "society"; this time, 1920s New York Society. It tells the story of Pauline Manford, a big hostess on the scene and those close to her. Although it was published in 1927, I felt, and I've seen from other reviews, that it's really quite modern in some of the issues that it deals with - careerism, marriage difficulties, drinking issues, healthy living, spiritualism and psychoanalysis, and I found that that made it quite an interesting book to read. On the other hand, the characters didn't really draw me in, nor the plot, so it wasn't an especially enjoyable read for me (which is a bit frustrating as I don't have much time or concentration for reading at the moment).

There is an awful lot of Edith Wharton published in the VMC list, but FRUSTRATINGLY, the one that I most want to read at the moment "Summer" (because it features a librarian as one of its protagonists) isn't on the list. Edith Wharton isn't one of my favourite VMC authors, so the fact that I have another 12 of her books to go is a little daunting, but as I do have her probably most acclaimed one on my TBR, I hope that may hook me in.


  1. I just read Summer and while it wasn't a VMC edition, it did have a wonderful introduction by Marilyn French. It's quite good (here's my review). It would be interesting to read The House of Mirth and Summer back to back, since each heroine is so compelling and yet so different.

  2. AHA! I've been wracking my brains trying to remember which book I've recently come across that has a librarian as a protagonist so I could tell you but you've come across it yourself and inadvertently reminded me: SUMMER! I picked up a really cheap (TBD) Bantam edition.

  3. I hope you come across a copy of Summer soon - I loved it! Haven't heard of Twilight Sleep. My next Wharton will be The Age of Innocence, or possibly some ghost stories in honor of the season!

  4. i'd never heard of twiligt sleep but it sounds interesting, i like wharton - look forward to house of mirth, it is really good.