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The Glimpses Of The Moon Paperback – October 3, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Contrary to the previously reviewed abridged recording (Audio Reviews, LJ 2/1/95), Anna Fields reads this edition with precision. The novel's premise is simple: a man and a woman who are financially strapped decide to marry to remain in the high society circles to which they have become accustomed. They will use their wedding gifts to better position one another's opportunity to remarry for money. The dilemma, of course, comes when they discover separately that their love for each other is far greater than the false, pretentious, and self-indulgent lives they are seeking. Wharton strikes a balance between the superficial and the genuine, and between dependency and freedom that allows the reader to observe the foibles and follies of life and learn from them. Fields has also recorded A Feast of Words: The Triumph of Edith Wharton (see Audio Reviews, LJ 2/15/98). Recommended for all audio collections.?Kristen M.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Long out of print, Wharton's novel opens with a sentence that seems to have been written for the opening voice-over of a movie: ``It rose for them--their honey-moon--over the waters of a lake so famed as the scene of romantic raptures that they were rather proud of not having been afraid to choose it as the setting of their own.'' But Nick and Susy Lansing, each suffering from a genteel lack of money, have married out of convenience rather than romantic rapture. Intending to live off the generosity of wealthy acquaintances, they have also agreed that each shall be free to pursue a more socially desirable mate. What they didn't anticipate is that they would fall genuinely in love with each other. As Wharton tells their story, the sharp irony of both her prose and her characters bleeds into pools of true feeling. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction ed edition (October 3, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684826194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684826196
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,091,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 11, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Edith Wharton won the Pulitzer in 1921, for her social romantic tragedy "Age of Innocence." What to do after a triumph like that?

Well, in Wharton's case, she went the opposite direction, with a gentle romance called "The Glimpses of the Moon." It's the cliched love-or-money storyline that's existed as long as love and money, but Wharton elevates it with some social satire and lushly sensual writing.

Nick Lansing and Susy Branch are young, attractive, clever, arty, and poor -- they are confidantes of the wealthy, but can't live like them. So Susy comes up with a scheme: they'll get married, and live for a year off the honeymoon gifts and guest houses -- and if either of them gets a better offer, they'll divorce immediately with no hard feelings.

All goes smoothly for the idyllic first months. But when staying in Venice, Nick finds that they are staying at a villa because Susy is helping the house's mistress meet up with her boytoy -- and that Susy's acid-tongued pal has just inherited a fortune. But despite their pact, Susy finds it increasingly difficult to imagine a life without Nick -- especially when he seems to be involved with a clever young archaeologist's daughter.

The story of "Glimpses of the Moon" is not the selling point of this onetime bestseller -- you can pretty much guess how it will turn out, and how many days the pact between Nick and Susy will last. In fact, it's kind of astonishing that Hollywood hasn't nabbed this one rather than the tragic "Ethan Frome" or the bittersweet "Age of Innocence."

But the beauty of "Glimpses of the Moon" is how it's presented -- Wharton's prose relaxes into a sensual feast of decayed villas, bright sunlight, rich colours and luxurious details.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was completely spell bound by this book, you cant guess the end ,though i did try, You are in constant anticipation as to the next turn of events , and extatic one minute and ,holding you breath the next. what a fabulous ending.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Laura Blalock on October 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Susy and Nick are a married couple without enough money to live on. They've made a pact to help each other mooch off their friends so that they can lead as luxurious a life as possible, as long as possible, and to part painlessly when their luck runs out. Right away, Susy falls afoul of Nick's scruples, which she didn't know he had. (Possibly he didn't know either, or at least, they had been unexamined and unexpressed.) The couple separate, and Susy embarks on a sort of journey in which she (rather belatedly) develops her own ethical compass. It's a sweet, uplifting story, if a bit predictable.
We also see a theme that Wharton develops further in "The Children": in these stories, the children of the very rich are sometimes neglected physically and emotionally. Their education and their spiritual and moral development are terribly neglected. In a way, Susy's and Nick's troubles might be derived from their own childhood neglect. This would explain why they are fully adult before being troubled by questions of ethics and morals, beyond simply trying to hold to what society will tolerate.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mulcahey on May 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Given the flawlessly smooth machinery of THE HOUSE OF MIRTH and THE CUSTOM OF THE COUNTRY, it's kind of weird to come across a Wharton novel as structurally sloppy as this one. More uncharacteristically yet, the first three chapters, in my opinion, are just plain shabbily written. But Wharton is never without her reasons, and once she's disposed of the characters' "backstory" as expeditiously (if inelegantly) as possible at the top of the book, she hits her stride in earnest and gives us all of the pleasures of a great Wharton tale -- chiseled prose, trenchant humor, sociological precision, briskly paced and compactly dramatized.
Something that strikes me about this book: it'd make a much better movie, be much easier to adapt, than either HOUSE OF MIRTH or AGE OF INNOCENCE. It's got fewer locations, a much smaller cast of characters -- heck, it even has a happy ending, and an honestly earned one. (In fact, the conceit it starts with -- a couple in love who'd like to stay together, but alas, there's no money in it -- is pretty much the idea Preston Sturges started with in THE PALM BEACH STORY, an audience-pleaser for sure.)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
Set in the aftermath of World War I, this study of 1920s society, with its elements of social comedy and satire, follows Nick Lansing and his wife Susy, through the highest levels of European society. Though they have the credentials to be accepted, they are financially limited, always unsure where their next funds will come from. Nick and Susy have married for love, with the understanding that if either of them finds a more financially stable suitor with a long-term future, that each is free to dissolve the marriage. They spend their honeymoon year living in the empty European homes of their more affluent friends.

When they stay in the palazzo of Ellie Vanderlyn in Venice, early in the novel, Susy receives a note from Ellie asking her to mail four letters, one each week, to Ellie's absent husband Nelson, so that he will not know she is away. Confronted with this thorny problem, which she has been sworn not to reveal to Nick, Ellie agrees, knowing no way around the problem, since she and Nick depend on Ellie's hospitality.

It reveals no plot surprises to say that Susy's deception eventually undermines her superficial but loving relationship with Nick. Wounded by Susy's lack of trust and her deceit, Nick needs to get away. The separate comings-of-age of Nick and Susy occupy the bulk of the novel as each, still sharing the extravagant lifestyles of their friends, considers whether to honor the agreement to let the other person go if someone "better" comes along.
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