The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton


Audiobook.  Knowing the plot of this book made me dither a long time before downloading it.  The plot:  a beautiful woman of 29 with little money but ambition to remain in the best circles of the idle rich has a long and painful downfall from her position.  Distractions of momentary fun cause her to repeatedly blow her opportunities to marry into security.  Through impressive self-deception she maintains her view of herself as an innocent.   She has one friend in this circle, a man less frivolous than the others who sees the foolishness for what it is, and who believes in her essential goodness.  He eventually abandons her but at the very end when he goes to her to declare his love, it is too late.  As Abby says about opera plots, "She dies, she always dies."  The beautiful language made it wonderful to listen to.  I loved every minute and it had the desired effect of making me always look forward to walking.

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