Title: Age of Innocence, The
Authors: Wharton, Edith
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 229
Year: 1920
Language: English
Description: Set in New York in the 1870s in a society where the constricting social code puts individual lives under great pressure. It is also a story about love. Pulitzer Prize for Literature, 1921. [Small font]

Comments from Groups:

Most of us found this a fascinating account of a window on the very formal New York society of the period - better than Henry James! We enjoyed the personalities and hypocrisies, all strongly and strikingly drawn. Were also intrigued by the portrayal of the women and social attitudes towards the breakdown of marriage. Most found it repaid us amply for our efforts. Tauranga 018

Took a bit of getting into, however very well written; style of writing more endearing than the characters. Great ending. Dunedin 015

Found it a bit difficult to get use to the language at first but once we did we got hooked on the story. Auckland 267

We liked the book very much. The characters seemed well drawn. After a lively discussion we enjoyed watching the 'opera scene' from the the film on DVD. Hamilton 003

Worth reading to discover early America. An intriguing book. Christchurch 013

Most felt it was good to read a classic for a change and enjoyed the change of pace and excellent setting of 1870s New York, the manners and inhibitions of such a stifling society. Upper Hutt 002

Had a good discussion re the huge changes in women's lives in over a century. Feilding 001

Categories: Fiction, Classic, Literary, Love story, Tragedy/disaster


[Please log in to write a review]
By: RAUM 005 2020-04-06 10:08:50
We all really enjoyed this - it was a GREAT book for book group discussion. Lots of different views and perspectives shared:-)

By: CHCH 282 2020-04-06 10:06:57
VERY divided scoring. One person gave it a 1, "How do you write about absolutely nothing?", while another gave it a 10! It made you think that nothing has really changed.

By: WELL 001 2020-04-06 10:04:00
The group was only lukewarm about the book. We thought the notes were good quality. Most of the discussion centred around the different views of the character of Ellen in the introduction to the book, and the notes.

By: WELL 116 2020-04-06 09:59:32
For many of us, this was a favourite book, and we loved the writing and the plot. We had lots of discussion about the characters' motives and decisions. However, some of us found it wordy.

By: HAMIL 053 2020-04-06 09:57:37
We have had varied books to read and this was no exception. Again we had a number of members who only read the first few chapters and decided they didn't like it at all. Those that did finish the book enjoyed the descriptive language, the challenge of looking up the meanings of words not used now, and the irony portrayed in some of the characters and situations. It is a book we would recommend, but to a group that enjoyed analysing and looking beyond the surface of a novel.

By: PUKEKO 004 2020-04-06 09:51:33
Enjoyed by all.

By: CHCH 143 2020-04-06 09:50:36
Most found it difficult to read but those who did read it, loved it....especially the descriptive passages included. Well-written!

By: WHANG 008 2020-04-06 09:48:36
This book was universally enjoyed. We were in awe of her turn of phrase - empathetic, witty and moving.

By: PAUA 001 2019-10-30 15:30:43
A fascinating glimpse of NY high society in the late 1800's along with the pressures, constrictions and expectations of young men and women of that time. Not an easy read and it took us a while to get into it, but worth pursuing. Would recommend not reading the note-sheet beforehand as it will spoil the ending for you!

The Book Discussion 
Scheme is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations in Aotearoa New Zealand
BDS is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations