Good Reads | The Age of Desire & A Giveaway

When I first picked up The Age of Desire, all I knew was that it was a fictional story based on the life of Edith Wharton.  Now, I knew Edith Wharton was an author but I'd never actually read any of her works.  But that didn't matter to me.  I love historical fiction and this was historical fiction set in Paris.  Who can say no to that?  Not this girl.

What I didn't realize was, this was a romance novel.  No, not the 50 Shades of Grey type.  (If that's what you're in the mood for, then check out Edith's very own naughty bit of writing.)  I still haven't read 50 Shades but from what I understand, the writing is craptastic and the story is a bit convoluted.  The Age of Desire, on the other hand, is a beautifully written book with rich characters and vivid imagery (a result of author Jennie Fields' intensely dedicated research, no doubt).  And, yes, there is a little bit of sexy time in there - but it's the romantic type so it's okay.

Essentially, Edith undergoes a sexual awakening of sorts when she reaches middle-age and falls in love with a younger man.  Being a married woman, she's torn between her responsibilities to her marriage and her desire to follow her heart.  As you can imagine, this all makes for a very intriguing read.  Add to that the fact that, as Edith's marriage is falling apart, Edith's lifelong friendship with her secretary (and former governess) Anna is also on the brink.  Knowing that this was based on real people and real events just makes it all the more compelling.

And now, one of you lucky lovelies can check it out for yourself!  If you'd like to win your very own copy of The Age of Desire all you need to do is:

1) Be a follower of Big Mario Life
2) Leave a comment below letting me know one of your good reads this summer.

That's it!  Super simple.  If you want a few extra entries, you can also:

+ Tweet about this giveaway using @bigmariolife
+ Like Big Mario Life on Facebook
+ Follow me on Twitter
+ Follow me on Instagram

The giveaway will stay open until August 8th (one week from today) and the winner will be selected using random.org.  Oh, and be sure to leave a separate comment for each one of those extra entries! :)

To see a few other thoughts on the book (and for more giveaways), check out the reviews from the other book club ladies:


  1. The Art of Fielding would be my recommendation for the summer. I loved it.

  2. Oh count me in! I'm a fan of "historical fiction" and history reimagined. I'm working on Deathless by Catherynne Valente. Oh to be able to write like her!

  3. I read 50 Shades because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about - it's truly craptastic writing and a lame story. If 50 Shades had been written by Edith Wharton - good God! Now that would be some good reading. :)

  4. Oh this is exactly the kind of book I love! Another book kind of similar (historical fiction set in Paris) is the Paris wife. I was a little skeptical, but I really loved it.

  5. ahh, i just love seeing book suggestions! i recently read "fault in our stars." it was so, so good. i'd be lying if i said i didn't get teary-eyed at the end, haha.

  6. This sounds like a great read! I'm struggling to find a decent book this summer. I just started The Paris Wife, and so far it's really interesting.

  7. thanks for your comment on my blog-yep-they are churros-spanish doughnuts-yum

  8. i would love this! the book i read this summer in less than two days was "beautiful boy". it's a fathers viewpoint of his son's addiction. it's not the most uplifting book but you just can't put it down - it's truly a great read.

  9. I love this, I follow you, and my fun Summer read was the entire Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare.


  10. Thank you so much for your review with its lovely, breezy style! Your 50 Shades comment really made me smile. If you have the chance, I'd be so grateful if you'd share your opinions about the book on Goodreads and especially Amazon. And for everyone looking forward to the book, I hope you love it! - Jennie Fields

  11. I have been wanting to read this! Perfect timing for a giveaway :) I just finished The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama. It isn't something I would normally pick up, but I couldn't put it down.

  12. I will be reading The Orphanmaster starting this weekend! I finally did receive it in the mail. You are the best, Stephanie!

  13. I loved Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence (and it's a beautiful film, as well) and I've heard that she lived a pretty interesting life so fictional or not, this book sounds like it could be a winner.

    I've read so many good books lately: Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (1930s New York glamour), The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller (prep school mystery), Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier (a classic, why hadn't I read it sooner?!), How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran (absolutely hilarious book on feminism, can't recommend it enough), as well as all of Jonathan Tropper's books but especially How To Talk To A Widower (laughed and cried the whole way through). God, I love reading!


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