The Age of Desire

The Age of Desire

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For fans of The Paris Wife, a sparkling glimpse into the life of Edith Wharton and the scandalous love affair that threatened her closest friendship They say that behind every great man is a great woman. Behind Edith Wharton, there was Anna Bahlmann—her governess turned literary secretary and confidante. At the age of forty-five, despite her growing fame, Edith remains unfulfilled in a lonely, sexless marriage. Against all the rules of Gilded Age society, she falls in love with Morton Fullerton, a dashing young journalist. But their scandalous affair threatens everything in Edith’s life—especially her abiding ties to Anna. At a moment of regained popularity for Wharton, Jennie Fields brilliantly interweaves Wharton’s real letters and diary entries with her fascinating, untold love story. Told through the points of view of both Edith and Anna, The Age of Desire transports readers to the golden days of Wharton’s turn-of-the century world and—like the recent bestseller The Chaperone—effortlessly re-creates the life of an unforgettable woman.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 25.4mm | 294.83g
  • Penguin Books
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0143123289
  • 9780143123286
  • 1,053,751

About Jennie Fields

Jennie Fields received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. The author of the novels "Lily Beach," " Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," and "The Middle "Ages, she spent twenty-five years as an advertising creative director in New York and now lives with her husband in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Review quote

"A fascinating insight into the life of my favorite novelist. Fields brings a secret side of Wharton to life, and shows us a woman whose elegant faCade concealed a turbulent sensuality."--Daisy Goodwin, author of "The American Heiress" "With astonishing tenderness and immediacy, "The Age of Desire" portrays the interwoven lives of Edith Wharton and Anna Bahlmann, her governess, secretary, and close friend. By focusing on these two women from vastly different backgrounds, Jennie Fields miraculously illuminates an entire era. . . . I gained insight into both Wharton's monumental work and her personal struggles--and I was filled with regret that I'd finished reading so soon."--Lauren Belfer, author of "City of Light" and "A Fierce Radiance" "[Fields'] portrayal of Edith Wharton in love is imaginative and bold and offers a touching view of Wharton. . . . Fields immerses us in Wharton's household, her social milieu, and her most private self."--Irene Goldman-Price, editor of "My Dear Governess: The Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann" "In the vein of "Loving Frank "or "The Paris Wife," Jennie Fields has created a page-turning period piece. Fields portrays a woman whose life was hardly innocence and mirth, but passionate, complex, and more mysterious than one might ever imagine."--Mary Morris, author of "Nothing to Declare" and "Revenge" "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." --"Boston Globe" "Fields supplements the story with fascinating excerpts from Wharton's actual letters and includes appearances by other authors of the period . . . to re-create the exciting literary landscape of Paris and New York in the first decade of the 20th century. . . . the novel should . . . appeal to those who enjoyed Paula McLain's "The Paris Wife.""--"Library Journal" "Delicate and imaginative . . . Fields's love and respect for all her characters and her care in telling their stories shines through." --"Publishers Weekly" Inspired by Wharton's letters, "The Age of Desire" is by turns sensuous . . . and sweetly melancholy. It's also a moving examination of a friendship between two women. --"Bookpage" "Fields bases her perceptive novel on Wharton's own diaries and letters. . . . [THE AGE OF DESIRE] sheds welcome light on the little-known private life of a famous woman and her closest relationships in early-twentieth-century Europe and America."--"Booklist " "One doesn't have to be an Edith Wharton fan to luxuriate in the Wharton-esque plotting and prose Fields so elegantly conjures."--"Kirkus"

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