The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton -- A Biography by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge, Clarion Books '10, $20, $192 pages, ISBN #0547236301. Index, works by Edith Wharton, bibliography, source notes, b&w images sprinkled through text.
If you were born into a family named "Jones," the very same socially prominent family that people since have been trying to keep up to, you might feel the need to break a few rules. Such was Edith Jones Wharton's fate as she set out to carve a niche as a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, author of Ethan Frome, the short, tragic novel most of us read in high school.
Edith set her socialite mother's teeth on edge "by being different, intellectual, and odd." She had a troubled marriage but made friends with some of the most well-known personalities of her day, as she struggled to escape her patrician background. The author also describes her philanthropic work during World War I.
Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge received a master's degree in education and library science from the University of Chicago and has written picture books and nonfiction for children. She lives in Indiana.