Book summary: Hudson River Bracketed


Originally published in 1929, Hudson River Bracketed is a late novel by Wharton that deals with a young aspiring writer, Vance Weston and his developing relationship with Halo Spear, a woman who takes the time to introduce Weston to the delights of literature. While the choice of characters gives away some of the autobiographical elements – quite possibly Wharton chose to use both as aspects of her own distant pass – the flow of the plot shows a concern for their growth as people just as much as Weston's creative potential as a writer.

Hudson River Bracketed is not considered one of Wharton's more celebrated novels as much because it refuses to deal with the kind of society setting that are evident in novels such as The House of Mirth. To this extent, it has been described as self-indulgent, written not for the benefit of her readers but just for her own delectation. Yet surely, that's what old age is for.

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