Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Let me explain, no is too much. . . Let me sum up.

This blog has two purposes, one selfish and one, hopefully, less so. First, it gives me a chance to read without guilt. Normally, I only read when I've done absolutely everything I feel I have to. Surely I don't deserve to sink into a chair with a lovely tale with dirty baseboards staring me down, do I?

Well, I do. . but that's another post.

Now I can happily chalk up my reading to productive "research" for my next post to satisfy the aching hunger of my readers. (Just play along)

Unselfish reason: I want women to ignore the baseboards and read good books, even if they aren't in a book club that gives them permission to do so. And especially if they are in a book club that only picks mind candy. I am not anti-mind candy! Don't hate. There are just so many wonderful books out there to discover, and they are left wasting away on the cheap shelf at Barnes and Noble. And they are FREE on Kindle! So, let's read them.

Folks might pick up this blog at different stages, and my hope is that wherever thou art, this blog acts well its part. Which means if you jump into the middle of a story, no matter how well-written, you could feel totally forlorn, or God forbid, bored.

A reader wisely brought this quandary to light and suggested that there be some sort of a catch-up moment with each post. I don't want to bore anyone that is following along steadily and, hopefully, reading the book, so here's my solution. I will write a summary post for each book and put a link to it at the top of each post, with the quotation from the book. That way, if someone happens to come along midstream, they can get a quick summary and character list. I still haven't figured out how to avoid spoilers as I go along. Any ideas on that front?

So, now to a summary of The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton:

The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton's sharp view of New York's upper crust in the early 20th century. Newland Archer is recently engaged to the sweet, but sometimes vacant May Welland. The match is utterly perfect and Society rejoices. Cue the wrinkle. Countess Ellen Olenska, May's cousin and Newland's childhood chum, returns from Europe in a dark shadow. The beautiful Ellen has endured a troubled marriage and fled back to a Society that wishes she hadn't. Newland is drawn to her side, first as an ally because of her relation to May, and then as an admirer for her unique spirit and enchanting appeal.  The story unfolds as others court the still married countess and Newland wrestles with a shallow devotion to May, a frustrating distaste for the vapid life mapped out for him, and a growing passion for Ellen that endangers everything he has known or trusted.

Now, doesn't that sound like fun?

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