Undine's white and gold bedroom with sea-green panels and old rose carpet, looked along the Seventy-second street toward the leafless treetops of the Central Park.
Undine and her parents are living at the Hotel Stentorian in New York with the aim of moving among wealthy society. Undine is no Lily Bart. She is interested in all that is vulgar, expensive, bright and showy. This is echoed by her rather obvious beauty - bright red-gold hair and a high complexion. Completely self-centred and extravagant she drives her second husband, the lovely Ralph Marvell to suicide and flees from her third husband who is not quite such a pushover.
I loved Mrs Heeny, the cheerful manicurist and masseuse who keeps a sheaf of society newspaper clippings in her bag, knows all the latest gossip and is always warning Undine to Go Steady! I've read The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth. Any suggestions which Wharton I should try next?
Browsing in Waterstone's today I was struck by a display of books for Mother's Day at the front of the store. Are all mothers only interested in expensive Cath Kidston craft books, books with cute kittens on the front and books about how to make cupcakes? I am so bored with cupcakes. A while back Waterstone's had a display of books by Japanese writers and they managed to put an Amy Tan novel amongst them!