Title: Daisy Miller and Washington Square
Author: Henry James
Publisher: 1878; 1880
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Mount TBR; Share-a-Tea; A to Z - W
In Daisy Miller, James paints a vivid portrait of a vibrant young American girl visiting Europe for the first time. Lovely, flirtatious, eager for experience, Daisy meets a wealthy American, Mr. Winterbourne, and a penniless but passionate Italian. Her complex encounters with them and others allow James to explore one of his favorite themes, the effect of Americans and Europeans on each other.
I enjoyed the styled writing of this short novella. However, I can't quite get behind the characters. Daisy is very much like another Daisy of literature, completely one-dimensional. I just couldn't deal with her lack of depth. So mixed feelings on this one I guess...
Washington Square’s Catherine Sloper is Daisy Miller’s opposite. Neither pretty nor charming, she lives with her wealthy, widowed, tyrannical father, Dr. Austin Sloper, who can barely conceal his disdain for his shy, awkward daughter. When a handsome suitor, Morris Townsend, comes calling, Catherine’s father refuses to believe he is anything other than a heartless fortune hunter and sets out to destroy her romance.
This story I enjoyed a bit more than the first one. I enjoyed the interplay between all the characters and personalities. I have read that James disliked this story very much, but I enjoyed this slice of life.
Next up on the TBR pile: