House of Despair
I haven’t read Edith Wharton before, but I’ve heard good things about her. I recently attempted her book, The House of Mirth. I’m not sure if I listened to a bad narrator, or if I just didn’t like the book, but I didn’t like the book.
The book tells the story of a young woman’s unfair fall from grace at the turn of the 20th Century. The problem I faced was that she was just such an unlikeable, unsympathetic character. She did everything wrong and made one obviously stupid mistake after another. I was sympathetic to the unfairness of her situation and that it was unreasonable for her to be in the position to have to make the choices she had to make. But nonetheless, these weren’t difficult decisions. For example, don’t gamble. Or, if you want a rich husband, marry the one who proposes to you.
Now, I suspect Wharton was trying to do more with the book than the shallow reading I got out of it (and note, I didn’t finish it because I just found the narrator and the main character too obnoxious), but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the time necessary to get anything out of the book. Maybe at some point I’ll go back and give it a second try, and if so, I’ll put some real effort into understanding the point of the book. But for now, bleh.