June has turned out to be a pretty crap month as far as reading and even relaxing is concerned. I know, I know, I know. When you've traveled for fun, no one pities you in the slightest, but I'm just saying that this has been the craziest, on the go month for being a break! One of my big goals, every summer, is to read books that will help me prep more for my AP classes. I haven't done very well in that regard, but I did recently read most of Hermione Lee's large biography, Edith Wharton. Amazing and dense is the easiest review to write, but I'll try to explain a bit better than that!
I can't really, adequately review a book of this nature without directing more of my thoughts around how the book was written. In a pretty weighty, yet engaging academic voice, Hermione Lee takes a linear approach to Edith Wharton's life, in a very non-linear way. Although she starts with her early childhood and marriage, she also bounces around to show how things that occurred in her life are reflected and influence events later on. This moving backward and forward through Wharton's life leaves the chapters in the biography feeling more like individual academic essays that could be lifted from the book for research. I would think that unless you are really, really interested in Wharton's life, that I would only pick up this hefty book for individual research or curiosity. This is not easy reading, by any means, but it is richly satisfying and made me appreciate the artist's life much more. For college students or academics, Lee's book would be a brilliant resource that I can heartily recommend. Give yourself plenty of time to peruse, because you'll need it!
*FTC Disclosure: Review is based on a library copy of the book.