The Custom of the Country

Edith Wharton, Anita Brookner

The Custom of the Country
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The Custom of the Country

Edith Wharton, Anita Brookner

Edith Wharton’s novels of manners seem to grow in stature as time passes. Here she draws a beautiful social climber, Undine Sprague, who is a monster of selfishness and honestly doesn’t know it. Although the worlds she wants to conquer have vanished, Undine herself is amazingly recognizable. She marries well above herself twice and both times fails to recognize her husbands' strengths of character or the weakness of her own, and it is they, not she, who pay the price.

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