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The Age of Innocence
The Age of Innocence
Author: Edith Wharton
Set in turn-of-the-century New York, Edith Wharton's classic novel The Age of Innocence reveals a society governed by the dictates of taste and form, manners and morals, and intricate social ceremonies. With amazing clarity and sensitivity, Edith Wharton re-creates an atmosphere in which subtle gestures and faint implications bespeak desire ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780020264781
ISBN-10: 002026478X
Publication Date: 9/2/1993
Pages: 384
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 109 ratings
Publisher: Scribner
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Age of Innocence on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
As so often is the case, the book was much, much better than the movie. Wharton is a master at portraying the intricacies of Victorian society and the characters' inner lives.
rowdyblues avatar reviewed The Age of Innocence on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The ending caught me totally off guard and made me cry a bit. It was well worth the effort!
reviewed The Age of Innocence on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A picture of desire and betrayal in Old New York.
Leigh avatar reviewed The Age of Innocence on + 377 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
*** Spoiler Alert ***

I wouldn't say this book was disappointing, but it didn't overwhelm me like some of Wharton's other works, like "Summer." I understood that Wharton was poking fun at the upper class in New York in the early 1900s and a lot of her observations were both keen and humorous; however, it became tedious to read essentially the same conversation over and over. Multiple times various characters talked of scandal within their family and how horrible it all was and how one must keep up appearances, if not for one's own sake, then for that of the family. It also seemed as if every character was somehow related to another. It lent the novel an incestuous feel.

Two people who have barely glimpsed one another and have hardly spoken in depth simply cannot fall in love. Archer's and Ellen's relationship seemed almost as cursory a relationship as Bella's and Edward's from "Twilight," all the moaning and wistful sighs about being together.

In Part II, a strange turn emerges where May, Archer's wife, is suddenly a vacuous husk of a woman in Archer's eyes. Archer comes across as a spoiled and arrogant brat.

What I did appreciate about this book most of all was the very end, where both Archer and Ellen decide to keep their 30-year old memories of each other just as they are rather than befoul them with the aged present. For the same reason, I will never read Wharton's "Summer" again.
reviewed The Age of Innocence on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Remarkably written, beautiful love story.
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pindari avatar reviewed The Age of Innocence on + 38 more book reviews
this was an interesting visit to another era. A glimpse of a world as it begins to change. I was saddened that I wasn't able to see the true love blossom, but happy to see characters behaving with consideration of others.
reviewed The Age of Innocence on + 9 more book reviews
Great characters and a great picture of the social scene in New York back in an earlier time period. I really enjoyed this novel as I do all the Edith Wharton books I've read.