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?