Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2008 Book 98: Alice Adams

Book #:98

Book Title:Alice Adams

Author:Booth Tarkington

Publisher:The American Reprint Company

Pub. Date:1921 (original); 1978 (this version)


Started:November 5, 2008

Finished:November 10, 2008

Time to Read:6 Days

Back Cover / Inside Flap:(no text available; description courtesy Google Books)

"This is the story of a middle-class family living in the industrialized "midland country" at the turn of the 20th century. It is against this dingy backdrop that Alice Adams seeks to distinguish herself. She goes to a dance in a used dress, which her mother attempts to renew by changing the lining and adding some lace. She adorns herself not with orchids sent by the florist but with a bouquet of violets she has picked herself. Because her family cannot afford to equip her with the social props or "background" so needed to shine in society, Alice is forced to make do. Ultimately, her ambitions for making a successful marriage must be tempered by the realities of her situation. Alice Adams's resiliency of spirit makes her one of Tarkington's most compelling female characters."

Review:I began reading this book hoping to be pleasantly surprised by Tarkington, after being disappointed by The Magnificent Ambersons. The good news: this book WAS better than the former. The bad news: not by much. Perhaps the largest issue I had with this book was the meandering plot. The 'heroine', Alice, was a mildly interesting person living a mildly interesting life in a mildly interesting time and place. The descriptions and story line were moderately depressing - dreary. Again, like Tarkington's prior Pulitzer Prize winner, this could be purposeful in describing this sector of society in this slice of time. But for me as the reader, 80 years later, it simply didn't work.

If you have read or are planning to read this book, please make sure to stop back by and leave me a comment to let me know your own thoughts!

From my library to yours,


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