Henry James is one of the monuments of American literature. He is so monumental in fact, that many people never read him. He seems too detached, forbidding, and Olympian. If you have been intimidated by James's formidable reputation, read the first few pages of Washington Square.
This compelling novel presents Catherine Sloper, a young society woman, in her thwarted search for love—from her cold, disapproving father and the man he forbids her to marry. With psychological insight and perfect narrative pacing, James creates the heartbreaking story of a woman unable to escape the past that imprisons her or to create the future she desires.