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My third Wharton big book, following House of Mirth and Age of Innocence: every one of them way better than her over-assigned-in-high-school Ethan Frome. From the get-go, The Custom of the Country grabbed me. Wharton is sharply funny, witty, urbane. She writes flawlessly--she relentlessly pillories her snobbish, high-society NYC wannabes but does so with genuine affection. Supposedly, this novel inspired the creator of the Downton Abbey series, which I have never seen a single episode of.
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