“The House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton ★★★★★

Portrayal of a young woman, Lily Bart, navigating high society New York circa 1903 without the benefit of a supportive family to guide her or the financial means to support the lifestyle after her father’s wealth falls away.

“She had no tolerance for scenes which were not of her own making…”  –in regard to Mrs. Bart (Lily’s mother)

We witness a young woman with a promising future and fortunate circumstances, including having good looks and reputation, as well as a bevy of suitors, slowly let her dissatisfaction lead her astray, refusing countless opportunities to secure her position and thus ruining any chances she has to make a “good match”.

“She had been bored all the afternoon by Percy Gryce–the mere thought seemed to waken an echo of his droning voice–but she could not ignore him on the morrow, she must follow up her success, must submit to more boredom, must be ready with fresh compliances and adaptabilities, and all on the bare chance that he might ultimately decide to do her the honour of boring her for life.” 

When you are raised only to be decoration and you realize your own uselessness and inability to establish means to independent living, what do you do when you’ve waived all the options that have come your way?

The House of Mirth Lily Bart

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

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