Chapter 1 Summary
Edith Wharton was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize. Two years later, in 1922, she published her thirteenth novel, The Glimpses of the Moon. The book enjoyed great success and became an international bestseller. However, some critics believe that by the time Wharton wrote this novel, her writing style was becoming outdated, especially in comparison to the new generation of modern writers such as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Other critics, such as Helen Killoran, argue that The Glimpses of the Moon was a great influence on Firtzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby (1923).
The story begins as the newlywed protagonists, Nick and Susy Lansing, are on their honeymoon. They are staying at a private villa, referred to as Como, on a beautiful lake. This is not the only place to which they might have gone in celebrating their wedding. Susy has a lot of rich friends, many of whom also offered honeymoon getaways. They chose this villa over one that was in Versailles and another in Monte Carlo. They are pleased with their decision. If they had gone to Versailles, all their friends in Paris would have intruded on their privacy. Monte Carlo was also out of the question, according to Nick, because that was exactly where everyone expected they would go. Although Nick is pleased with their decision now that he has seen the villa, he had not originally wanted to come here. Susy reminds him of this fact and emphasizes it by stating that he is going to miss Como once they leave. Nick asks that they not talk about the future. He wants to remain in this timeless space they are enjoying, where they do not have to think about the future or the past.
As they sit outside enjoying their environment, they hear a nightingale singing. It is late in the season for bird songs and mating, and Nick comments that the birds are ending just as he and Susy are beginning. Susy hopes that when their turn comes to say good-bye to...
(The entire section is 574 words.)