272 pages, 8.38 × 5.5 × 0.7 in
February 12, 2013
Simon & Schuster
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 145164048X
ISBN - 13: 9781451640489
Read from the Book
• 1 • The Orchestra I’m a native Clevelander. I went east to school, as we do. And I married the loveliest man from Charleston, South Carolina, and convinced him to move back to Cleveland and start a family with me, as Clevelanders do. Nothing is more usual than Clevelanders of a certain ilk leaving, seeing the world, and then dragging a spouse back to settle down. My husband, Jim, calls himself in jest an import—used to vary the breeding stock. And variety is needed here. I’ve known most of my Cleveland friends since we were infants, since crawling around together on faded Oriental carpets and cartwheeling in the grass at country club picnics. My parents knew their parents, and my parents’ parents knew their grandparents, and so it goes back to the very beginnings when Cleveland was considered the West, and nice families had to stick together. So imports are needed, as few things are less exciting than kissing someone you’ve known since kindergarten. I tell you all this so that when I tell you that Eleanor Hart moved back to Cleveland without an import, you have a sense of the problem this presented. I’ve known Eleanor since those days when we played while our mothers gossiped over coffee. I call her mother Aunt Hart, though technically we are no relation. Her father died when she was a girl. It’s rumored that my great-grandmother once went on a date with Eleanor’s great-grandfather. They say he took her to a speakeasy for some prohibition gin, and great-grandmother never s
From the Publisher
This transformation of Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth into a powerful, modern story of one woman’s struggle with independence and love is “a beach read with a touch of literary pedigree.…A rich romp” (Elle).
A modern Edith Wharton heroine returns to the hothouse of Cleveland society, raising eyebrows as she struggles to reconcile her desire for independence and her need for love.
Eleanor Hart had made a brilliant marriage in New York, but it ended in a scandalous divorce and thirty days in Sierra Tucson rehab. Now she finds that, despite feminist lip service, she will still need a husband to be socially complete. Navigating the treacherous social terrain where old money meets new, she finds that her beauty is a powerful tool in this world, but it has its limitations, even liabilities. Through one misstep after another, Ellie mishandles her second act. Her options narrow, and now she faces a desperate choice.
“If Edith Wharton had lived in the contemporary Midwest, here is the novel she would have written. From the dowager who pins a half million dollars in diamonds on her fleece vest to the native son burdened by a decaying family estate, Claire McMillan gets it all right as she spins an intelligent and engrossing story of class, feminism, and beautiful but doomed Ellie Hart.”—Susan Rebecca White, author of A Soft Place to Land