1:04 PM

15) The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

I read this book because I remember reading on Oprah's website that it was one of Ashley Judd's favorites, and we all know how much I admire Ashley Judd. :)  I didn't really expect to like it and I guess that's what surprised me so much.  I couldn't put it down!  The writing was eloquent and slightly pervasive in the way that classics often are.  I knew the story was a tragedy, so I didn't really expect a happy ending, but I was so shocked by the outcome! 

**SPOILERS** If you haven't read this book and would like to, don't read on!

I cannot believe that Lily died!  I felt there was still so much hope for her.  After being uplifted by a run-in with Nettie and her child, I thought she might have just started to notice that life can still be worth living without riches.  While I know it's ambiguous as to whether or not she intentionally committed suicide, I do not think she intended to overdose on her sleeping medication.  I got the sense that she was relieved at having paid off all her debts with the inheritance check, but still down about what she considered her inevitable future in dingyness.  I didn't get the vibe that she wanted to die, only that she was so exhausted by her thoughts and the stress of her financial position that she wanted to sleep for a long time because then she was at peace.  If anything, she realized the dangers of taking such a large amount of medicine, but she left it up to the Fates as to whether or not it would do her any real harm.

This book was surprisingly sad.  Of course Lily dies the night before Selden finally realizes that he needs to be with her once and for all.  The next morning he shows up only to find her dead body.  So flippin' sad!  Romeo and Juliet never got to me the way this novel did.  One of the best classics I've read next to Jane Eyre and I will be adding this one to my permanent bookshelf.