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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

First book of the year!

The Glimpses of the Moon - Edith Wharton

Published in 1922, this was Wharton's last completed novel. It is also my fifth Wharton - I've previously read The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country and Summer.

There is something about Wharton that pierces me to my very soul. Glimpses of the Moon was no exception to that effect. No one wrote arid wealth and the oppressive customs of society better than Wharton - she explores the impact of narrow convention on characters at the same time that she ignored those conventions in her real life.

In some ways, this is the culmination of the stories that she has been telling her readers. Nick and Susy Lansing, young, beautiful and impoverished, marry against all good sense, with every intention of abandoning each other when someone new offers them a life of ease and fortune. We see each of them, for the first time, take on jobs as a gesture in the direction of self-sufficiency. If Lily Bart had been as intrepid as Susy Lansing, she might have had a happy ending. What a difference a couple of decades can make.

I read that Glimpses influenced Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, and I can understand the connection between these two books, but I am personally no fan of Fitzgerald's brittle characterizations. Not widely considered one of Wharton's finest efforts, I enjoyed it immensely.

And someone needs to adapt this for the small screen yesterday. It would be beyond gorgeous.