Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Portrait of a Lady

Remember back on October 15th when I said I was going to read The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James? I finished it tonight. I know, six weeks seems a little... slow. But I was reading other things at the same time! And Henry James can wax a little verbose. And while I was always interested while reading, it's not exactly action-packed. There doesn't seem to be a lot that actually happens as much as you get to know people's motives and thoughts and complications. That may sound lame, but it's not. (Okay, enough with the excuses.)

I loved this book. The characters came to seem like old friends to me. At first I was annoyed with all of them (except Ralph), but as I got to know them better and knew them longer, they became dear to me. Their mistakes and lapses in judgment felt genuine. I saw myself in them—all of them—at one time or another. When Isabel returns to Gardencourt, I felt like I was returning too.

Anyway. It was good. It's considered a "classic." Read it.

“To live only to suffer—only to feel the injury of life repeated and enlarged—it seemed to her she was too valuable, too capable for that.”

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