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Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
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Finally finished my #WhartonBuddyRead

I enjoyed this one quite a bit and I hope she becomes a nun 💟.

I very much enjoyed the read and l like the ending non ending. I enjoy Wharton's prose very much, even when it's about vapid people...

I‘d have never read this without the group so thanks all! Sorry I fell so far behind!!

Graywacke Glad you finished and enjoyed it! I like your ending non-ending description (edited) 2h
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The Children | Edith Wharton
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Good morning #whartonbuddyread! Are we ready for the Children? (Is anyone ever really ready for children? 😂) This one‘s just under 300 pages and divided into 3 books. I‘m proposing starting April 27 for Book 1, May 4 and 11 for books 2 & 3. Does that work for everyone?

arubabookwoman i'm looking forward to this one. It's typical Wharton in many ways, but a darker theme--how the children, of the rich adults we've seen so much of, fare, as they are dragged around the world, but basically ignored, with constantly changing step-parents and step siblings and half siblings. When I read it years ago there are parts that reminded me of Lolita, to the extent I wondered if Nabokov had it in mind. 13h
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batsy Looking forward to it. Things are a bit hectic atm but I'll try my best to join in and keep to the schedule! 12h
Lcsmcat @arubabookwoman Interesting thought. I‘ll keep that in the back of my mind as I read. 12h
Lcsmcat @batsy Same here. What‘s up with this spring? 12h
Graywacke Sounds good @Lcsmcat ! I‘ll likely be quiet May 4, traveling. But this schedule works for me. Wish you and @batsy RL breaks. 12h
TheBookHippie Crazy busy but yes. 😵‍💫🙃 11h
Currey Sounds okay to me. Thanks 10h
batsy @Graywacke Thanks 🙂 10h
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Thanks. Chime in when you can, and safe travels. 10h
Suet624 I keep missing out on reading these. 🥴😫 3h
Lcsmcat @Suet624 Join us this time! It‘s a shorter one. 3h
Suet624 @Lcsmcat my problem lies in finding the book! Hoopla has it but I literally have to wake up at 2 am to grab it before the daily collective quota allowed for the entire library system is hit. It‘s weird. I‘ll try though. 🤨 3h
Lcsmcat @Suet624 I have the entire works of Edith Wharton as an ebook that cost 1.99 (I think. It might have been .99) Or you could try Project Gutenberg. I‘m not sure if it‘s under copyright still or not. 3h
Suet624 Shoot. I always forget about Project Gutenberg. I‘ll check that out now. 1h
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Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
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This finally comes across as a playful satire on 1920‘s NY moneyed culture, mocking supposed progress and 1920‘s shallowness, spiritual fads, bad parenting and human frailties. But there are real weighty elements here. The youthful 1920‘s are represented in Lita and Nona. Clear-sighted Lita wants to be admired, maybe a movie star, disowning responsibility for consequences. Nona quietly sacrifices herself to manage her family‘s failures.

batsy "manage her family's failures" is so accurate! (and bleak) 6d
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Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
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This was like a satirical Fitzgerald; depressing & amusing all at once. Characters that needed to be more thoughtful were a tad underdeveloped, as such (Nona). But I felt for her & almost wish there was a sequel where she gets her own version of a "happy ending". A 3-star pick because it didn't quite stick the landing as I expected it to, but it's astutely Whartonian in how it exposes the vacuousness of the capitalist elite. #WhartonBuddyRead

Graywacke Glad you gave it a pick. Not my favorite Wharton either, but I‘m certainly glad i read it. Maybe a different ending ties it better. 6d
batsy @Yuki_Onna It's so well-suited to the book 🙂 6d
batsy @Graywacke I'm glad I read it, too. You can sense her discomfort with modern norms; it gives this book more of a cynical edge than her other works. 6d
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Suitable Boy | Vikram Seth
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#SpringSkies #BookClubRead #buddyread My book club reads that I am behind on !Twilight Sleep , I almost caught up for #WhartonBuddyRead but I‘m only on part 7 for #SuitableBoy2024 everyone else is on part 9 . between all the drop every thing and go errands & other diversions hard time keeping up ! I‘m even late with this post! 😁

Graywacke Can i send you free time to fritter away, between errands and commitments? I hope you‘re enjoying the reading. 2w
Leftcoastzen @Graywacke oh, I wish! I would be requesting buckets of time!😂 2w
Eggs I know the feeling😕 2w
Lindy Hang in there Linda! Be gentle with yourself. 🥹 1w
Leftcoastzen @Lindy THANKS! I hope to catch up soon, love the book, life stuff happens. 1w
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Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
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The image is from a 1916 documentary of the Twilight Sleep birth process (women only)

Book II - #whartonbuddyread

Characters develop. Mostly the Pauline satire (and the Alvah Loft frustration cure), but also a lot more on Lita, Dexter, Nona, and Stanley. We meet masked Aggie Heuston and Kitty Landish. And learn of Cleo Merrick.

Does Lita have issues, or Pauline offended by the lack of appreciation? Any thoughts on this transitional section?

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Lcsmcat Some quotes I liked. “But when she had to compose a speech, though words never failed her, the mysterious relations between them sometimes did.” 2w
Lcsmcat “Perhaps, after all, her own principles were really obsolete to her children. Only, what was to take their place?” and “They seemed, all of them—lawyers, bankers, brokers, railway-directors and the rest—to be cheating their inner emptiness with activities as futile as those of the women they went home to.” 2w
Lcsmcat It all points to a feeling that the lives of the privileged class were frustrated with pointlessness. And they don‘t even quite know that they‘re searching for meaning. 2w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat on Pauline “Sternly she addressed herself to relaxation” 2w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke 😂🤣😂 2w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat on the pointlessness: there is a link between the blindness of Pauline and clear-sighted blindness of Lita. (One of my takes: Pauline holds the NY culture values even as she breaks them. Lita‘s ignorance of these values comes from believing what she sees.) 2w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke That‘s a good way to look at it. 2w
Currey @lcsmcat oh that is good. I was moving this week. I did the reading, but not sure I did the thinking. 🤔 2w
Graywacke @Currey it‘s kind of a transition section. More of the same. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Not really a conversation sparker. 2w
Graywacke @Currey i just processed “moving”. That‘s consuming. Hope it went well and you‘re settling in ok. 2w
Currey @Graywacke I know where the coffee is but not much else, but it will get better 2w
Graywacke @Currey coffee helps! 2w
CarolynM I‘m behind. I‘ll come back to the comments when I catch up🙂 2w
Lcsmcat @Currey If you know where the coffee and the spoons are you‘re half way there. 2w
cindyash @Graywacke I really got a chuckle from that whole paragraph 2w
batsy I just caught up with the reading, but I'm not sure what I think yet! Mainly I feel an awful sense of emptiness contemplating Lita's boredom and Pauline's cultivated sense of denial—perhaps akin to the present day "wellness" obsession. If one can control and submit oneself to potions and therapies and enforced relaxation, one can hope to avoid one's life? 2w
Graywacke @batsy your question seems to be theme so far. And emptiness 2w
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As I try to finish book 1 of #WhartonBuddyRead find myself thinking Edith was up to speed about Perry Baker who renamed himself Dr. Pierre Bernard bringing yoga to America. Lots of scandal & running from the law , criticism from clergy,etc. And was it sex cult? I‘m not sure, still on my TBR .

Lcsmcat Oooh, intriguing. You‘ll have to report back after you read it! 2w
Graywacke I don‘t know anything about this. Cool! 2w
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I finished this on the treadmill this morning and it was a fascinating look at the gilded age and beyond. Told with love but not with blinders on, Cooper explores the faults and foibles, the triumphs and traumas, as he explores the rise and fall of the Vanderbilt dynasty. A nice companion to the #WhartonBuddyRead as it covers some of the same ground. A nice touch was the epilogue where he tells what stands now where the mansions once were.

Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
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Twilight Sleep : Book one

Flapper shocker? 🤷🏻‍♂️ What are your thoughts on Nona, Lita, Pauline and her men?

We are in Wharton‘s later books. She‘s experimenting, and she‘s bringing middle aged women to life. So as we sigh at her Pauline satire, also take a moment to think why Wharton spends so much time on her.

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Currey @Graywacke Both Pauline and Lita were closer to caricature than Wharton usually goes. Pauline‘s defense of the “dark” man because she wants her retreat made me very uneasy. (I know, I know….the time it was written in). However, I am liking Nona and of course simply reading Wharton‘s prose. (edited) 3w
TheBookHippie I love the prose. I had to remind myself several times the time it was written in because 😬… however I think it makes you think, and makes you feel the characters and did it when it was written as well? She writes flawed very well. 3w
Graywacke @Currey Pauline‘s ability to rationalize all contradictions, even contradictory public speeches, was quite interesting. I‘m puzzling about Wharton and Lita - Wharton‘s controlled prose and her intention that might be counter to our understanding (or misunderstanding). 3w
Graywacke @TheBookHippie i agree, she does do flawed writing well. I‘m trying to remind myself of the time and perspective too, but she‘s making me question what i do and don‘t understand of the era. 3w
TheBookHippie @Graywacke I agree, has me wishing my grandma was alive to ask her questions. 3w
batsy This is so different and so Wharton at the same time. The way she deftly satirises the busy days of the wealthy who don't have to work for a living—Pauline has days filled in order to assure herself that her days are filled. I also have to read up more on "twilight sleep" births because I vaguely knew it was a thing, but didn't realise the extent of it being an early 20th-century trend. The Dexter and Lila situation is ringing alarm bells?! ? 3w
Graywacke @batsy I‘m wondering about those ⏰s. And the births, which is new to me. However, I‘m quite intrigued with what Pauline fills her days with. Non-Christian spiritual stuff, very, you know, 1970‘s. Also, what she and Lita are doing have parallels. 3w
Lcsmcat @batsy The Dexter situation made me wonder what happened to Wharton that she was exploring these pseudo-incest scenarios. 😱 3w
Lcsmcat The prose is excellent, and the wit sharp. I highlighted several quotes, of course. But this one made me laugh out loud: “Yet what did Episcopal Bishops know of “holy ecstasy”? And could any number of Church services have reduced her hips?” 3w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat that‘s interesting about Dexter. Wonder what Hermione Lee says. 3w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat Pauline, right? That quote. I kinda understand Dexter‘s affection. She‘s entertaining. 3w
batsy @Graywacke Yes, great point. Who knew there was a precursor to the 60s and 70s mysticism? It's fascinating that these ideas were circulating among the rich earlier on in the US. Also loved that Pauline described her regimen as "Taylorized effort against the natural human fate". The Taylor system being implemented in late 19th-century I think. Wharton's incorporating quite a bit in this book. 3w
batsy @Lcsmcat Right. It also made me wonder exactly what was going in upper crust NY society at the time (perhaps a tale as old as time and maybe no less different now? Idk 🤢) 3w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Yes, that was Pauline. 3w
Lcsmcat @batsy @Graywacke I think we tend to see religion /religious fervor as something that was stronger in “the old days” (whenever that was) whereas in reality it comes and goes, is displaced by various fads, then something bad happens (war, economic crisis) and we scuttle back. The founding fathers were not so Christian as today‘s far right would have one believe, for example. (Jefferson rewrote the Bible to include only the bits he liked.) 3w
batsy @Lcsmcat So true. I'm not as well versed in American history so that is interesting indeed about Jefferson! 3w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat I think education and religion have a poor track record everywhere always. Not completely contrary, but rarely hand-in-hand. Wharton seems to present a very casual relationship with religion in her writing. 3w
jewright @batsy I was surprised by the twilight births too. My grandma had them in the 50‘s and 60‘s, but it sounds as if this was only specially available to the wealthy maybe because most people would have been having home births. 3w
Leftcoastzen I forgot to start it! Not looking at comments. I‘ll be back! 🫤😁 3w
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen you can catch up! 🙂 3w
Leftcoastzen Whartons writing is just so good! Being over scheduled seems like an avoidance tactic somewhat for Pauline . I love the debates about what to do about Michelangelo! Pay his debts , which would lead to bad behavior again .That marrying money is a career choice or Dexter can just hire him, like you can just say, yep, now I‘m a lawyer! 2w
Leftcoastzen Actually, there is a lot of history of Theosophy, Yoga, eastern religions in those years. It did take the place of more traditional religions for some people, & some , just a fad.But usually with the rich & comfortable , regular people worked too hard for a living. Like anything else, there were serious scholars of these traditions, and people just out to make a buck. 2w
Leftcoastzen And Lita ! I get the impression she is not going to be tied down to the trappings of adulthood, a husband,a baby. Being a flapper can nearly be a modern “religion”too. 2w
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen you caught up! 🙂 great comments. Pauline has evasion of introspection down to art of sorts. I didn‘t know anything about this 1920‘s fad. Very interesting! And Lita… oh, Lita…At least she knows what she wants 2w
cindyash @Lcsmcat not sure anything happened to her to write those scenarios. Ido agree with batsy that this is ringing alarm bells. Really like Nona,she is so sure of herself. hope she'll be ok 2w
Graywacke @cindyash is this Club Read‘s Cindy? Welcome to Litsy. To tag a person, is the @ key => @cindyash Also, I‘m worried about Nona. 2w
cindyash @batsy I knew about the mystism in the late 1800s wwonder if its an offshoot. Shades of the 70s “new age movement. what was that group the was so popular, EST I think? yeah the more things change the more they stay the same (edited) 2w
cindyash @Graywacke yes sir! a little confused but Im here! is there a way I can get back to the discussion at the beginning of book 1? 2w
Graywacke @cindyash yay! nice to see you here. You need a tutorial. You‘re in the discussion for book 1 here. To find all posts, click on this hashtag: #whartonbuddyread 2w
Lcsmcat @cindyash I‘m crossing my fingers for Nona also. She seems to have it a bit more together than her contemporaries. 2w
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