Aug 22, 2014

Chapters 11-20, "The Custom of the Country", by Edith Wharton

Undine's ambition, bad taste, and selfishness seem to be growing as we advance in the book and her life. 
In these chapters, the marriage takes place and the marriage ends. Does it happen too fast, too slow, or do you find it has the perfect pace?
We get to know Undine as a wife and mother, and we see how these "circumstances" don't seem to change much her aspirations and rhythm of life.  
Although the book is a constant critic of the American society it portraits, at one point in these chapters the author provides a direct and explicit analysis of the man-woman relationship and "the customs of the country" through the character of Mr. Bowen. Do you agree with his vision? Do you think it belongs to the old times or do you see something of it in nowadays society? What about his perception of the European marriage?

Looking forward to keep reading your thoughts!

Aug 4, 2014

First part: "The Custom of the Country", by Edith Wharton

Is it me, or this Undine girl we have actually met somewhere? It is amazing how real the characters are! What do you think of her? She is capable of manipulating her own parents, but once out in society she is copying every other "high society" lady... Will she grow and become a more mature person by the end of the book? To me, this smells tragedy!
What about the descriptions of society? Have we made so much progress? New York versus South?
I was surprised to see that the story moved fast, we get the romance and the wedding, and there is a lot of pages still to go! This is no Jane Austen (not I critic, I love Austen) but this is going much farther, reviewing maybe "the customs of the country"...