January, 2017: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

(Book #81) Rosalie hosted the most lovely gathering of the season serving Mousse de Saumon avec concombres et capres, et L’Assiette de trois fromage avec des pommes. Le Plat Principal was Boeuf Bourguignon served with a salade et baguette. For dessert –Peche Melba meilleur que celui d’Escoffier. 

Discussion of the book was lively starting with the exclamation of why the poor woman could not catch a break! All agreed that the writing is beautiful, but efforts to empathize with the characters became tiresome. The lively attitude of the group was daunted by the appearance of the quiz; the quiz focuses on the differences between the book and the movie. You need not have see

House of Mirth

In the movie, Lily meets Mrs. Haffen, the cleaning lady, only when she comes to sell the letters.  In the book, how many times do they encounter each other? 

  1. Two times
  2. Four times
  3. Three times
  4. They never meet.

Which is true of the book’s description of Lily’s attendance at the opera?

  1. Aunt Julia and Grace sit in the box opposite Lily, Mr. Trenor and Mr. Rosedale.
  2. Lily and Mr. Trenor leave the theater before the opera begins.
  3. Mr. Trenor puts pressure on Lily to spend time with him.
  4. Grace tells Aunt Julia that Lily has gambling debts and is seeing a married man.

In the movie, Lawrence Selden and Lily kiss on two occasions, during their “walk to the church” at Bellomont, and after the Tableaux Vivant.  How many times do they actually kiss in the book?

  1. They never actually kiss in the book.
  2. They don’t kiss at Bellomont but they kiss after the Tableaux Vivant.
  3. They kiss at Bellomont but they don’t kiss after the Tableaux Vivant.
  4. They kiss on both occasions.

Much more is made of the Bry’s Tableaux Vivant in the book than in the movie.  In the small portion shown in the movie, Selden is with Grace Stepney.  Who attends the event with him in the book?

  1. Grace Stepney
  2. Aunt Julia
  3. Bertha Dorset
  4. Gerty Farish

In the movie, there is no trip that Carry Fisher arranges for Lily to take with the Gormers.  Where does she travel with them in the book?

  1. Monte Carlo and Nice
  2. Italy
  3. Peru
  4. Alaska

Bonus Question:  From where is the title, The House of Mirth taken?

  1. From the writings of Julius Wellhausen.
  2. From the writings of Solomon in the Bible.
  3. From a poem by Rudyard Kipling.
  4. From a New York social event.

Sharon always quibbled with me about the significance of the  Bonus Question — why is it a bonus and not just another question? But, who doesn’t like a bonus anything?

A favorite quote: “Half the trouble in life is caused by pretending there isn’t any.”

Answers: 3, 3, 1, 4, 4, and 2