Portrait of a James Novel

January 23, 2011 at 3:36 am (Reviews) (, , , , , )

Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady is quite possibly one of the most depressing novels of all time.  Although there are numerous sentences throughout the book that I would deem some of my favorite quotes, the book as a whole put me in a sad, sad state, and not a deep whimsical sadness like that of Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, just sad.  Isabel Archer gets used terribly ill, poor Caspar Goodwood will never have peace, the rotten Osmond gets to keep his prize, and the manipulative Madame Merle (whom I do feel a bit sorry for, but only a bit) gets to runaway to America and leave her consequences behind her.  The “incredible twist” towards the end of the book did not seem like a twist at all, but rather was much expected.

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