Published on September 17th, 2012 | by Key Reads0
The House of Mirth Book Summary & Analysis
By Alexandra Rosen
Lily Bart of The House of Mirth knows how it feels to have just enough money to do the things you want to do, but not enough to keep up your intended lifestyle. It is hard to have fancy clothes but nowhere to put them, isn’t it?
Another book title in the repertoire of the wonderful author of The Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome, the tale of The House of Mirth book by Edith Wharton is not the fairytale picture of New York that we would like to imagine. This is Edith Wharton’s tale of the demands of city life on a disintegrating young woman. Lily Bart bounces around living with one friend and then another, hoping to secure a rich husband in the meantime. However, both the rituals she must perform and the men she could flatter into making her an offer of marriage disgust her. She therefore looks to a friend’s husband to help her make a fortune on wall-street tips, but he gets the WRONG idea from her flattering.
Whatever is a girl to do in a situation such as Lily Bart’s in The House of Mirth? Why, go off on a cruise with a frenemy, of course! Lily’s easy manners and pleasing beauty make her a hit in the Mediterranean, but her host is displeased by the fact that Lily Bart overshadows her. Moreover, the one man who could fix everything for Lily Bart is now convinced–contrary to his prior belief—that she is exactly the high-cost prostitute she was rumored to be.