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Rosedale In Love (The House of Mirth Revisited) [Kindle Edition]

Lev Raphael
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.99

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Book Description

Gilded Age New York as You've Never Seen It

In the glittering world of money-mad 1905 New York City, Jewish financier Simon Rosedale plans to force his way into high society through marriage and has his eye on Lily Bart. One of the most beautiful women in the city, Lily is a down-at-heels aristocrat plagued by gossip and might be vulnerable to his proposal. With his money and her style and connections, he can rise to the top—but will she lower herself to marry a Jew? Could such a marriage heal Rosedale's secret shame, and will Florence Goodhart, the cousin who adores Rosedale, help or hinder his plans? Written in a period voice, Rosedale in Love audaciously revisions Edith Wharton's beloved classic The House of Mirth, offering readers a timeless American story of greed, envy, scandal, love and revenge.

"Engaging and wonderfully creative."
--The Edith Wharton Review

"Lev Raphael has done his homework in this extremely well-written novel, and includes history and current events of the time period that completely immerse the reader in a world of spectacle, ceremony, gossip and intrigue that makes the era, and the characters, come alive."
--Cynthia Darling,

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: 450 KB
  • Print Length: 265 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004X2ILRA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,268 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Amazing Lev Raphael June 1, 2011
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Book Club Reading June 23, 2011
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid summer read! July 9, 2011
By Joe
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written Gilded Age historical romance October 15, 2011
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine intriguing read
Lev Raphael writes flowingly and creates a time warp of characters and a period rich in both the sense of money and in the tensions of a search for decency which is (unfortunately)... Read more
Published 6 months ago by AA
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather boring...
I love historical fiction because I enjoy reading about how people lived back in the day. This story was overflowing with vivid descriptions of the glory days of the early 1900s... Read more
Published on March 28, 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars IndieReader Review
Part love story, part lush description of New York social history, Rosedale in Love is a multi-layered look of New York society at the turn of the century from the point-of-view of... Read more
Published on March 21, 2012 by Amy Edelman
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow read
Wow I felt this book was a little on the slow side, rather dull in spots. Rosedale wasn't a character I could really get into, to me he seemed kind of from the stupid side of life,... Read more
Published on March 20, 2012 by Sandy
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written historical fiction
I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to
review it.
Simon Rosedale is a wealthy Jewish banker trying to gain acceptance into New York's upper crust of... Read more
Published on December 13, 2011 by Vandernise1
3.0 out of 5 stars The Guilded Age comes alive
I wanted to love this book, but I just couldn't. I think the author did a great job of making Rosedale a sympathetic character in this book, except when he included Wharton's... Read more
Published on November 11, 2011 by AER
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved This Book!
This book was great. I enjoyed every reading moment of it. Historically accurate, solid character development, and it really transports you to the time period. Read more
Published on October 14, 2011 by Leevje
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasure to Read
Historical fiction and/or romance is not something I'd ordinarily choose, but having been offered a copy of Rosedale in Love for review, I thought I'd give it an honest effort. Read more
Published on October 11, 2011 by Tony Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars Love and scandal in Manhattan high society, early 20th century
This was a very enjoyable novel, especially for fans of Edith Wharton. The characters are very well developed, and the era is brought to life through their thoughts and actions. Read more
Published on September 18, 2011 by Donna Doodles
3.0 out of 5 stars Rosedale the Banker
I am glad I majored in French in college and that Kindle has a dictionary! This historical novel reminded me of a French farce, and I could hardly get through it. Read more
Published on August 26, 2011 by Helen R. Colvin
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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


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