Title: The Custom of the Country
Author: Edith Wharton
Rating: 3/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Mount TBR; Classics - Romance; Popsugar - Takes Place Over a Character's Lifetime
Undine Spragg is an exquisitely beautiful but ferociously acquisitive young woman from the Midwest who comes to New York to seek her fortune. She achieves her social ambitions—but only at the highest cost to her family, her admirers, and her several husbands. Wharton lavished on Undine an imaginative energy that suggests she was as fascinated as she was appalled by the alluring monster she had created. It is the complexity of her attitude that makes The Custom of the Country—with its rich social and emotional detail and its headlong narrative power—one of the most fully realized and resonant of her works.
I must say that I was a bit disappointed in this one. I really enjoyed Wharton's The Age of Innocence, but this one felt flat in comparison. Undine is one of the most unlikable characters in literature. No one is rooting for this spoiled brat of a teen in the beginning and no one is rooting for her at the end. I could see Wharton's social commentary, but I just couldn't really get into the characters and storyline to really care.
Next up on the TBR pile: