Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Review: Gilded Age by Claire McMillan
Eleanor Hart returns to Cleveland when her high-profile marriage ends in divorce. All of Cleveland is talking about her recent “rumored” stay in rehab and Ellie doesn’t know what she should do. It’s obvious when she walks into a room, the men can’t help but glance her way. She’s self-indulgent, wants nothing but the best but the man she spends more of her time with is not the type of man she can marry. Ellie feels like she’s on the outside of her social circle. Everyone wants to talk about her, but they don’t necessarily know what to say to her. Her best friend suggests that she marry for money once again.
Gilded Age is branded as a contemporary House of Mirth. I haven’t read House of Mirth so I can’t compare. The premise of the novel sounded really good, I thought it would be a great read but it didn’t live up to my expectations. I kept thinking the author was depicting a 1950's setting, then I would think about it and think “oh, no, it’s a modern book.” This kept happening again and again. I couldn’t really absorb myself into the story because I had to keep reminding myself about the setting. When something modern would be spoken of, it felt really out of place. The book is about old money, gender issues and class distinctions. In my opinion McMillan wanted to create a timeless book, but it didn’t work for me.