Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: Gilded Age by Claire McMillan

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 258
Released: 2012
Source: Publisher
Rating: 2/5


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.


  1. I was planning on reading this one. I am glad I read your review first, now I think I am going to pass on it. Doesn't sound like a very well written book.

  2. Hrm, I'm not sure I'll read this one. Even the description sounds like it takes place in the 1950s.

  3. I have this one and have not gotten to it yet. I loved The House of Mirth, and think that this would be a clever reprisal of it, especially since it is set in modern times. Sorry that it didn't totally work for you!!

    1. I'll be interested in reading what you think of it.

  4. Like Meg, I thought this book was set in the 1950s or earlier after reading the synopsis. I'd probably pass on it too.