Title: The Age of Innocence
Author: Edith Wharton
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: 1001 Books; TBR Reduction; Ebook; Books to Movies; Back to the Classics -- Woman Author
At the heart of the story are three people whose entangled lives are deeply affected by the tyrannical and rigid requirements of high society. Newland Archer, a restrained young attorney, is engaged to the lovely May Welland but falls in love with May's beautiful and unconventional cousin, Countess Ellen Olenska. Despite his fear of a dull marriage to May, Archer goes through with the ceremony — persuaded by his own sense of honor, family, and societal pressures. He continues to see Ellen after the marriage, but his dreams of living a passionate life ultimately cease.
Okay. I get this novel. I get Wharton's criticism of high society. I get the conflict the characters feel. I understand and yet I'm not the biggest fan of this book. Mostly because I can't stand Newland Archer. I get May and the Countess. I understand their behavior, but Newland was just way too selfish for my tastes.
I loved the movie adaptation. The actors were cast perfectly, especially Daniel Day-Lewis. Swoon! He even made Archer a more likable character. And Michelle Pfeiffer shined as Countess Olenska. Plus, the movie just looked amazing! I loved the sets and even more, the costumes! Those dresses were intricate and absolutely gorgeous. Perfect adaptation of a historical novel. Definitely a keeper in terms of a book-to-movie.