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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

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 st

So this is the life of Lily Bart as a comedy rather than a tragedy?

Susy Lansing does all the things I hoped Lily would do, but couldn't bring herself to: she marries whom she loves and renounces a life of luxury to be with the person she really wants to be with.

Why am I still feeling so sad and fru

If you've ever wished that The House of Mirth were a comedy (view spoiler)[ with a happy ending (hide spoiler)], that Lily Bart might be matched with a loving but penniless man, and that lovers' misunderstandings might be eventually ironed out, then this is your book. It's lightweight Wharton, for sure, but the leads are an attra

Not one of her best, but reading a Wharton novel has never been a waste of time for me. I love her way with words and the world of the idle rich - a world that feckless couple Nick and Susy Lansing hang on to by their fingernails - is well realised. Beautiful evocative descriptions of some of my fav

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 writt

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, w

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 tha

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 of M

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,

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