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The Glimpses of the Moon

Edith Wharton

Book Overview: 

"The Glimpses of the Moon" is about Nick and Susy Lansing, both of whom live a decadent life in Europe by sponging off wealthy friends. They marry out of convenience and have an "open" relationship, but are unprepared for where their feelings will take them.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .After all," he said to himself one evening, as his eyes wandered, with somewhat of a convalescent's simple joy, from one to another of their large confiding faces, "after all, they've got a religion...." The phrase struck him, in the moment of using it, as indicating a new element in his own state of mind, and as being, in fact, the key to his new feeling about the Hickses. Their muddled ardour for great things was related to his own new view of the universe: the people who felt, however dimly, the wonder and weight of life must ever after be nearer to him than those to whom it was estimated solely by one's balance at the bank. He supposed, on reflexion, that that was what he meant when he thought of the Hickses as having "a religion"....

A few days later, his well-being was unexpectedly disturbed by the arrival of Fred Gillow. Lansing had always felt a tolerant liking for Gillow, a large smiling silent young man with an intense and serious desire to miss nothi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Susy and her beau Nick have both grown up around rich people though their own families have lost their fortunes. Susy makes her way in the world flitting from invitation to invitation acting as an unpaid but rewarded assistant to her rich friends. Nick has dreams of making a living by his writing...more

I'm so glad I read this book! "It's not House of Mirth," the reviews kept saying. "Well, neither is Anna Karenina War and Peace," I answered, and kept on reading.

A marriage of two penniless socialites begins with a business bargain and ends. Or does it?

This was a very interesting, highly introspective read set in the glittering world of the 1920's in Europe, with people so far removed from our own reality in thoughts and manners as would make it impossible to relate to anything, were it not for its universal themes coupled with Wharton's astute...more

Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget--

Imagine if Lily Bart and Lawrence Selden from Wharton's THE HOUSE OF MIRTH had given it a go and gotten together--this might have been the result. Nick Lansing and wife Susy have nothing between them but social popularity and an ability to live off the generosity...more

I really love romances. The disdain I have shown over the years towards romance novels might conflict with this statement, but I truly adore a good love story. But why do I never find well-written, logical! (is that too much to ask?) but smutty romances? Why aren't there any novels as superbly wr...more

This is a romance set among the wealthy residing in Europe. Two Americans without money but desiring the life of the rich make a deal--they will get married and live off the wedding gifts for a year. They are given gifts and money and dozens of invitations to come and spend their honeymoon abroad...more

Nineteenth century first world problems

Published in 1922, this was Wharton's last completed novel. It is also my fifth Wharton - I've previously read The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country and Summer.

There is something about Wharton that pierces me to my very soul. Glimpses of the Moon was no exception to...more

The Glimpses of the Moon has been compared to Wharton's great classic, The House of Mirth, and it's protagonist Susy Lansing to the tragic Lily Bart, and while similarities do exist, Glimpses falls short of House of Mirth. The Glimpses of the Moon was published in 1922, 17 years after The House o...more

It’s only a paper moon
Hanging over a cardboard sea,
But it wouldn’t be make believe
If you believed in me.
It’s a Barnum and Bailey world
Just as phony as it can be
But it wouldn’t be make believe
If you believed in me.


Say you don’t need no diamond rings
And I’ll be satisfied,...more

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