From My Bookshelf: Innocence, Mirth, Frome
Welcome to From My Bookshelf – 2018 edition! Since I’ll be going through (attempting, at least) and listing each of my books here on the blog as part of my Reading Challenge, I looked to the end of my alphabetized shelf at the books that won’t get a lot of love until closer to the end of the year. The following three books stuck out to me because they were written by the same author, and since this author’s birthday falls on the 24th of this month, they were obvious choices.
The Age of Innocence | The House of Mirth
| Ethan Frome |
Four years after The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was created, Edith Wharton became the first female writer to win. The book for which she was awarded the Prize is the one out of the three listed above that I haven’t read: The Age of Innocence. As you can see, the edition I have is the one published after the 1993 movie (starring Winona Ryder and Daniel Day-Lewis) premiered. I typically won’t buy a book with a cover designed for its movie, but I found this copy at a library book sale so my disdain for the cover was worth the low [donation] price. After bringing it home (early last year, I believe), I put it on my shelf to join the other books I have yet to read. This will be the year!
With that said, I have read both The House of Mirth and Ethan Frome. I remember various parts of each book, which for me means I definitely enjoyed them. I read the former in college (5 years ago?) and Ethan Frome in high school (7 years ago?),* so to remember multiple scenes vividly after only reading each once is great for me. I love 19th century novels about high society, and before you jump all over me about the year in which The House of Mirth was published, I’m selfishly (immaturely and inaccurately) calling it a 19th century novel. I’m excited to look at all the places I tagged with ripped up sticky notes, and hope I enjoy it as much the second time around.
The events in Ethan Frome have stuck with me because of their haunting, gripping nature, as I’m sure that’s the reason they stick with anyone who reads it. The New England setting also resonates with me (New Englander, here), and I remember reading with my historical fiction lenses, despite it not being historical fiction. I’m looking forward to reading it again, this time with my adult perspective.
*GOOD GOD how long has it been since I’ve been in college and high school?!?!
I am always amazed at how book covers change so dramatically once a movie is made of the book! Suddenly a book that for decades has had a very sober cover gets transformed into something hot and spicy!
Oh me too! I was browsing other covers and beside others (Penguin Classics, Barnes and Noble Classics), this one makes it look like a completely different – and much more scandalous – novel.
Yes, that’s marketing for you, I guess.
You know, I think I read the Age of Innocence, but neither one of the others. I need to get to work!
Yes! I recommend starting with Ethan Frome; it’s much more straightforward.