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The Glimpses Of The Moon (VMC) [Paperback]

Edith Wharton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

26 Jan 1995 1853818666 978-1853818660 New edition
She wondered if, when human souls try to get too near each other, they do not inevitably become mere blurs to each other's vision.' Susy Branch learned early that to thrive without money in a society driven by wealth one must dissemble, flatter and sometimes even drop one's moral guard in order to share a little of one's host's luxury and leisure. Nick Lansing has also learned and wearied of the same lesson. Despite the foolishness of their romance - for each should be seeking a partner of means - they decide to marry. By combining their skills they should be able to enjoy a year's invitations and happiness before they need face reality. But love makes its own exacting demands and its costs can also be high ...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New edition edition (26 Jan 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853818666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853818660
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Edith Wharton (1862-1937), friend and contemporary of Henry James, was born in New York but spent her later life in France. She won two Pulitzer prizes and was probably the most accomplished American novelist of her generation.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple, yet pleasing. 1 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This is a far less detailed work in comparison to other works by Edith Wharton. Yet, the simplicity is refreshing. The book is an excellent introduction to Wharton's work, second only to Ethan Frome. I found the book extremely enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Set in the aftermath of World War I, this social comedy/satire follows Nick Lansing and his wife Susy, who have the credentials, but not the bankroll, to be accepted at the highest levels of European society. Always unsure where their next funds will come from, Nick and Susy have married for love, with the understanding that if either of them finds a more advantageous possibility for a long-term future, that each is free to dissolve the marriage. They spend their honeymoon year living in the empty European homes of their more affluent friends.

While staying in the seemingly unoccupied palazzo of Ellie Vanderlyn in Venice, Susy is instructed by Ellie to mail four letters, one each week, to Ellie's absent husband Nelson, so that he will not know she has been away. Confronted with this pragmatic problem, which she has been sworn not to reveal to Nick, Ellie cncedes, knowing no way around the problem, since she and Nick depend on Ellie's hospitality, abstract ethics having little influence on her.

Susy's deception eventually undermines her superficial but loving relationship with Nick. It comes as no surprise that Nick, wounded by Susy's lack of trust and deceit, needs to get away. What is surprising is that they two lovers eventually sue for divorce, each doing what is necessary to maintain his/her lifestyle without funds and neither willing to swallow pride.

The separate comings-of-age of Susy and Nick, within the frantic and extravagant lifestyles of their friends, occupy the bulk of the novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Edith Wharton book 17 Nov 1998
By A Customer
I never cried so hard over a book as I did at the end of this one. I can't figure out why high schools make students read Ethan Frome when this book is out there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Schemers in love 16 May 2010
Edith Wharton won the Pulitzer in 1921, for her social romantic tragedy "Age of Innocence." What to do after a triumph like that?

Well, in Wharton's case, she went the opposite direction, with a gentle romance called "The Glimpses of the Moon." It's the cliched love-or-money storyline that's existed as long as love and money, but Wharton elevates it with some social satire and lushly sensual writing.

Nick Lansing and Susy Branch are young, attractive, clever, arty, and poor -- they are confidantes of the wealthy, but can't live like them. So Susy comes up with a scheme: they'll get married, and live for a year off the honeymoon gifts and guest houses -- and if either of them gets a better offer, they'll divorce immediately with no hard feelings.

All goes smoothly for the idyllic first months. But when staying in Venice, Nick finds that they are staying at a villa because Susy is helping the house's mistress meet up with her boytoy -- and that Susy's acid-tongued pal has just inherited a fortune. But despite their pact, Susy finds it increasingly difficult to imagine a life without Nick -- especially when he seems to be involved with a clever young archaeologist's daughter.

The story of "Glimpses of the Moon" is not the selling point of this onetime bestseller -- you can pretty much guess how it will turn out, and how many days the pact between Nick and Susy will last. In fact, it's kind of astonishing that Hollywood hasn't nabbed this one rather than the tragic "Ethan Frome" or the bittersweet "Age of Innocence."

But the beauty of "Glimpses of the Moon" is how it's presented -- Wharton's prose relaxes into a sensual feast of decayed villas, bright sunlight, rich colours and luxurious details.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great writer at the peak of her powers 8 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A thought-provoking story with a moral message. The things that appear most desirable, such as wealth and comfort, can be illusory. Life needs more basic ingredients such as love and a sense of purpose to be truly fulfilling.
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