Congratulations to Rhonda Lomazow, winner of last week's Friday Freebie prize package: Triburbia by Karl Taro Greenfeld and The Bird Saviors by William J. Cobb.
The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields. The novel is a definite must-read for all you Edith Wharton lovers out there. Fans of The Paris Wife should also sit up and take notice. The Age of Desire paints a fictional portrait of a middle-aged Wharton falling in love with a young journalist named Morton Fullerton (which she actually did). This year marks the 150th birthday of the greatest chronicler of America's Gilded Age. Suddenly, it seems, Edith Wharton is everywhere we look--did you happen to see the big photo spread in Vogue this month? I could think of no better way to celebrate than by reading The Age of Desire. Here's the plot synopsis from the publisher:
They say behind every great man is a woman. Behind Edith Wharton, there was Anna Bahlmann—her governess turned literary secretary, and her mothering, nurturing friend. When at the age of forty-five, Edith falls passionately in love with a dashing younger journalist, Morton Fullerton, and is at last opened to the world of the sensual, it threatens everything certain in her life but especially her abiding friendship with Anna. As Edith’s marriage crumbles and Anna’s disapproval threatens to shatter their lifelong bond, the women must face the fragility at the heart of all friendships. Told through the points of view of both women, The Age of Desire takes us on a vivid journey through Wharton’s early Gilded Age world: Paris with its glamorous literary salons and dark secret cafés, the Whartons’ elegant house in Lenox, Massachusetts, and Henry James’s manse in Rye, England. Edith’s real letters and intimate diary entries are woven throughout the book. The Age of Desire brings to life one of literature’s most beloved writers, whose own story was as complex and nuanced as that of any of the heroines she created.The Boston Globe had this to say about Fields' novel: “Somewhere between the repressiveness of Edith Wharton’s early-20th-century Age of Innocence and our own libertine Shades of Grey era lies the absorbingly sensuous world of Jennie Fields’s The Age of Desire....along with the overheated romance and the middle-age passion it so accurately describes, The Age of Desire also offers something simpler and quieter: a tribute to the enduring power of female friendship.” To further whet your appetite, here are the novel's opening lines in which Fields pairs Wharton and Fullerton right from the get-go:
He stands at the edge of the salon, and Edith has the uncomfortable feeling he’s staring. A dark-haired man. Formal. Self-certain. There are ten roués like him in every café in Paris. But his sapphire eyes glimmer with a discernible intelligence. His coal black lashes are as long as a giraffe’s. Men should not be allowed to have lashes so seductive. He leans on one leg, observing the room, calculating. How hard he seems to work at doing nothing!
If you'd like a chance at winning a copy of The Age of Desire, all you have to do is email your name and mailing address to email@example.com
Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. One entry per person, please. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Aug. 30—at which time I'll draw the winning name. I'll announce the lucky reader on Aug. 31. If you'd like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week Quivering Pen newsletter, simply add the words "Sign me up for the newsletter" in the body of your email. Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).
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