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Rosedale In Love (A Gilded Age Romance) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Length: 265 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


""Richly textured and darkly witty, Rosedale in Love explores the inner life of outsiders, to whom the hidden give-and-take of high society is a language to be struggled with, for whom external wealth and inner impoverishment go hand in hand. Lev Raphael catches the subtlety of Wharton's original, and enriches her exploration of a story in which love pulls against ambition, and shame is a daily taste in the mouth."
--Laurie R. King, author of Pirate King

"Beautifully written and absolutely absorbing, Rosedale in Love brilliantly captures an American era of fabulous wealth and fatuous prejudice."
--Lillian Faderman, author of Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers & Naked in The Promised Land

"Lev Raphael's novel of the Gilded Age pays homage to Edith Wharton and deftly nods to Henry James as it depicts the interplay of identity, wealth, and social standing in a society that demands reputation but objects to poverty even more than scandal."
--Elise Blackwell, author of An Unfinished Score

"When The House of Mirth is revisited from Simon Rosedale's perspective, the Gilded Age gives up still more of its secrets.  Lev Raphael explores many of the areas in which the period was over the top--from high fashion to high finance, from gastronomy to interior decoration--and the mix provides a great summer read."
--Joan DeJean, author of The Essence of Style

About the Author

Lev Raphael is a prize-winning author, reviewer, and blogger who has published nineteen books in a wide range of genres and been translated into a dozen languages. A former student of famed Wharton biographer Cynthia Griffin Wolff, Raphael has been reading Wharton for decades. He's written a highly regarded biography/critical study of Wharton, Edith Wharton's Prisoners of Shame, as well as a comic mystery delving into the politics around her reputation, The Edith Wharton Murders.  You can find him blogging at the Huffington Post on books and reviewing at the on-line literary magazine

Product Details

  • File Size: 739 KB
  • Print Length: 265 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: January 19, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004X2ILRA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #800,856 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Lev Raphael has wanted to be an author since he was in second grade, and he's not only achieved his dream, he's published twenty-five books in genres from memoir to mystery to Jane Austen Mashup; had his books translated into nearly a dozen languages; appeared in two documentaries; won various prizes; done hundreds of invited talks and readings on three different continents; recently sold his literary papers (92 boxes!) to the Michigan State University Libraries (MSUL); been the subject of scholarly articles, papers and book chapters; and seen his work taught at colleges and universities around the country. Which means he's become homework. Who knew?

Born and raised in New York, he got over it and has spent half his life in Michigan. He's a pioneer in writing about children of Holocaust survivors, which he's been doing since 1978, longer than almost any other American author. He frequently tours with his books (check for his current schedule) and is currently touring with My Germany, a memoir/travelogue exploring the role Germany has played in his family, his life, and his career.

After he escaped academia to write full-time, he reviewed extensively for over a decade for the Detroit Free Press, Michigan Radio, The Washington Post, Jerusalem Report, The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Forward, Boston Review, and Lambda Book Report. He now reviews for and WKAR 90.5 FM/East Lansing Public Radio, and when he's not busy, he sometimes imagines some graduate student years from now in the MSUL archives puzzling over his handwriting.

A seasoned reader of his own work, with a background in theater and teaching, he loves the performance aspect of touring, as well as meeting people he'd never meet back home. And the sightseeing. And the foreign foods. For photos from his previous German book tours, go to

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As an admirer of Lev Raphael who has read all the mysteries starring Nick Hoffman, his two previous "serious" novels, his memoir "My Germany," and most of his essays and short stories, when Lev described his latest work, I immediately downloaded "Rosedale in Love" and eagerly read it. It is an amazing and brilliantly faceted gem of a book. Simon Rosedale, a Jew who is a wealthy financier of Gilded Age New York City, is mentioned 100 times by name in Edith Wharton's "House of Mirth" as an admirer of Lily Bart. Staying consistently in voice, Raphael recreates the parallel universes of the upper class society of the 400 and of the established and financially influential German Jewish families. In Wharton's account, you pity poor Rosedale as you pity poor Sherlock. In Raphael's account, you empathize with Rosedale the man and hope that Raphael will give him the happy ending he deserves.

Raphael is wonderfully precise in his choice of words. Kindle allowed me to check the definitions of words of whose meanings I was unsure, thus giving me a greater appreciation of his writing skills. This novel is one of the best he has written and I can without reservation recommend it to those who are familiar with his work (this is his 20th book) and to those who are "fans" of Austen, Trollope, and Wharton.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Prediction: Lev Raphael's Rosedale in Love is sure to be the top pick of every book club in the country this fall. Enthralling and deeply sensitive, it does for the classic House of Mirth what Ahab's Wife and Wide Sargasso Sea do for the fiction which spawned them. It enabled me to understand and, yes, deeply love the controversial Jewish Wall Street financier, Simon Rosedale, who has often been accused of stock capitalistic mercenary motivation. It also satisfies the hunger of readers like me who love historical fiction but demand that it be realistic and devoid of obvious satire. Lev Raphael offers profound insight into the Gilded Age. His research into the period and his ability to bring it to life allowed me to window shop on a time and a place as I hastily clicked my Kindle through this warm and beautifully written love story. To me, it is the most unusual and valuable type of fiction: a history with a heart (not a bias).
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Format: Kindle Edition
When I was looking for a book to travel with, Rosedale in Love was recommended to me by a friend. I must confess to not having read the House of Mirth; so, the character of Rosedale and the object of his desire, Lily Bart, were new to me. But, even without a previous history with these characters, this book was an absolute gem. I am a fan of historical fiction, though I have been frequently disappointed by authors who write in a style or with a tone that simply feels too contemporary. I'm pleased to report that the author of Rosedale in Love, Lev Raphael, does not fall into this trap. Truly, it's as though he wrote Rosedale in Love at the turn of the 20th century, not the 21st. The book is painstakingly researched so the different set pieces all feel just right for the period. The dialogue is sharp and on target. And, the mood created by the author is true to the anxiety that accompanied the social and financial ascent of New York in the late 1800s. Indeed, Raphael's descriptions New York are so compelling that, to me, the city was another (important!) character in the story. I enjoyed my ride in the time machine to 1890s New York and I found myself rooting for Rosedale with each passing page. A splendid read!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This novel is a delight to read. With its period voice and lush vocabulary, it perfectly captures the costumes, jewels, home decor and other set pieces of the ultra-rich who live in their own Society circle in New York City during the Gilded Age of the early 1900s. Lev's delightfully smooth narrative flow sweeps you along and immerses you in each scene as though you're an unnoticed wallflower, picking up on tidbits of conversation, nuances of facial expressions, and noting other slight gestures for the social import they carry.

Though the book seems to launch from Simon Rosedale's point of view, it is primarily through his adoring cousin Florence's eyes that we watch the interplay of emotions, pride, deceit and manipulation play out among the characters, bringing the story to a quick but satisfying end. It may have been Rosedale who thought he was in love, but really, he was loved all along and didn't know it until he had expunged his personal demons from the past and could then see his bountiful life through fresh new eyes.

I highly recommend this book, and the cover is beautiful to boot!
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Format: Kindle Edition
As a literature major, I appreciate the language in this beautifully-written novel. Although it might be daunting to the modern reader, it adds authenticity to the Gilded Age setting. This book is rich with descriptive details--clothes, decor, jewels, and scenery are all portrayed in painstaking detail. Sometimes it become a bit much, but it does create vivid imagery for the reader. The characters are well-drawn, if not particularly likable. It is perhaps important to note that unlike many so-called historical romances, Rosedale in Love does not take modern sensibilities into account. The characters are overly-concerned with appearances and the minutiae of social decorum. As unappealing as this is, it was the way of the world for New York society during the time period. The plot is interesting enough to keep you muddling through the lengthy descriptions, because you will most definitely want to follow the besotted and awkward Rosedale in his quest for love. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a review.
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