Ethan Frome is a sad tale of a young man caught in a loveless marriage that leaves him trapped in the town of Starkfield. Told from the eyes of a visitor to the town, Ethan's life is "put on display" as the book leads you through the tragic tale of Ethan's mother dying, which in an act of desperation, he marries the same girl who cared for his ill mother. Yet things get worse when Zeena, Ethan's wife, also goes ill. When his wife sends for her cousin, Ma... The Age of Innocence
The main character, Newland Archer, is a wealthy lawyer who is engaged to May Welland. All seems well, until Newland meets May's cousin Countess Ellen Olesnka, who has left Europe to get away from her husband. Newland is enlisted to make things right, avoiding any scandal, for May's family by getting Countess Olenska to go back to her husband, or simply swaying her to choose not to divorce. Newland falls in love with Countess Olesnka, but he is a man wh... The Buccaneers
Edith Wharton's last novel deals with a foursome of rich young American girls who go off to Europe in search of culture and husbands. They are introduced at the beginning at a resort in Saratoga where Nan St. George, the youngest of the girls, meets her new english governess, a sensitive woman who tries to make Nan, her sister and their friends see the importance of the older social custom of Europe as opposed to the more freewheeling society they a... The Custom of the Country
Undine Sprague is the central character in Edith Wharton's "The Custom of the Counrty." She is newly arrived in New York. Her family has come into money through business in the Midwest and now she seeks to use that money to buy social position in fashionable Eastern society. She accomplishes this though marriage to a young man with social connections but not much money, then after some time and a visit to Europe, she realizes that there are still more...
The Glimpses of the Moon
Nick Lansing and Susy Branch, two fortune seekers who are very fond of each other, but cannot afford a permanent relationship, decide to marry for awhile and live off the hospitality of their friends for as long as they can. They hope that they will each be able to latch onto someone with a fortune during that period. Then they will divorce and marry the money. Unfortunately for them they find that they are really in love, and have to decide whether t... The House of Mirth
"The House of Mirth" is the story of Lily Bart, a young woman who is born into the proper New York society, but is a poor relation who must live off her relatives and friends. As such, it is imperative that she marry well. She has her sights set on a youn man who has money, and has him in her clutches, but she chooses to flirt with another man whom she finds more exciting. She loses her chance. Later she accepts financial help from the husband of a f... The Reef
A widow and her former lover reunite for an attempt to renew what they once had, but the chance encounter with a governess complicates this arrangement and threatens to unravel everything. George Darrow is content and relatively comfortable as an American diplomat working through the embassy in London. Then he receives word from a woman in his past whose husband has just died. The woman, Anna Leath, was once the woman George hoped to marry, but she chose...