Newland Archer saw little to envy in the marriages of his friends, yet he prided himself that in the tender and impressionable May Welland he has found the companion of his needs. The engagment was announced discreetly, but all of New York society was soon privy to this most perfect match, a union of families and circumstances cemented by affection. Enter Countess Olenska, a woman not afraid to flount convention and determined to find freedom in divorce. Newland, though drawn to the socially ostracized Ellen Olenska, knows that in sweet-tempered May he can expect stability and the steadying comfort of duty. But what new worlds could he discover with Ellen? Written with elegance and wry precision, Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece is a tragic love story and a powerful homily about the perils of a perfect marriage.