Review: The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields

Title: The Age of Desire
Author: Jennie Fields
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Published: August 2, 2012
paperback, arc, 352 pages
ISBN: 978-0-670-02368-4
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher

When at the age of forty-five, Edith falls passionately in love with a dashing younger journalist, Morton Fullerton, and is at last opened to the world of the sensual, it threatens everything certain in her life but especially her abiding friendship with Anna. As Edith’s marriage crumbles and Anna’s disapproval threatens to shatter their lifelong bond, the women must face the fragility at the heart of all friendships.

My thoughts:
Edith Wharton is known for her classic books such as The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence. She lived in the Gilded Age where money and public status went hand in hand. Jennie Fields takes us back to that day and age through the eyes of Edith Wharton and her long time companion, Anna Bahlmann.  The book covers the middle of Edith's life, her torrid affair with Morton Fullerton, and her lasting friendship with Anna. Though this book is fiction, it's based on actual events in Wharton's life.
I have read a few of Wharton's work, but I knew little about her personal life. This book really opened the door to explore the author behind her books. Wharton became almost like a character in one of her novels. She found, for the first time, the pain and angst of being in love. However the friendship she has with Anna outshines everything else in this book. Anna had been with her almost her entire life. She served as Edith's governess, secretary, and confidant. From loneliness to heartbreak, the two woman  relied on each other almost implicitly.
This book is a definite To Read. Jennie Fields did a superb job in writing this book. I felt as though I were transported back in time to witness the life of Edith Wharton and Anna Bahlmann.

My rating:


  1. I loved the friendship between the two ladies and wish there had been a bit more of that because I hated Edith's adultery.

    1. I did too. I didn't like Morton at all. Edith acted very selfish during her affair, and didn't care who she hurt.

  2. Loved this book! Such a fascinating profile of Edith, who was all too human but struggled to be a strong woman in a more difficult times that included sacrificing her own happiness in a marriage that was socially acceptable.
    Loved Anna and that relationship. Kudos to Jennie Fields for really bringing them alive. Katie.


Post a Comment