Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gilded Age by Claire McMillan

Ellie Hart has returned to her hometown of Cleveland after a traumatic divorce in New York and a stint in rehab. Coming home without a husband to her well-heeled circle of friends is not without problems. Never having had a career and wanting to retain her social stature, she would like to marry again but finding love (accompanied by money) is proving difficult. She finds herself attracted to an old friend-- university professor William Selden--but wonders if the wealthy lawyer Randall Leforte (who lacks any class or breeding) might be a better match. However, Ellie does have her oldest friend (unnamed in the book) to lean on. Her friend tells the story of her own marriage and pregnancy, along with her observations of Ellie since she's returned to town. Navigating the minefield of upper-crust Cleveland society might prove to be quite a challenge for Ellie.... In the Gilded Age, McMillan has written a contemporary version of Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth. I throughly enjoyed the peek into Ellie's world, however gossipy, cutthroat, and hurtful it might be.

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