Alice Adams

Front Cover
Indiana University Press, 2003 - Fiction - 434 pages
1 Review

Over the pictures, the vases, the old brown plush rocking-chairs and the stool, over the three gilt chairs, over the new chintz-covered easy chair and the gray velure sofa—over everything everywhere, was the familiar coating of smoke and grime.... Yet here was not fault of housewifery; the curse could not be lifted, as the ingrained smudges permanent on the once white woodwork proved. The grime was perpetually renewed; scrubbing only ground it in. —from the novel

This is the story of a middle-class family living in the industrialized "midland country" at the turn of the 20th century. It is against this dingy backdrop that Alice Adams seeks to distinguish herself. She goes to a dance in a used dress, which her mother attempts to renew by changing the lining and adding some lace. She adorns herself not with orchids sent by the florist but with a bouquet of violets she has picked herself. Because her family cannot afford to equip her with the social props or "background" so needed to shine in society, Alice is forced to make do. Ultimately, her ambitions for making a successful marriage must be tempered by the realities of her situation. Alice Adams's resiliency of spirit makes her one of Tarkington's most compelling female characters.

 

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Review: Alice Adams

User Review  - Kaylan Swearingen - Goodreads

I wavered between sympathy and intense dislike (and embarrassment, occasionally) for the title character of this book. In the end, Alice proves herself to be a good girl who's learned quite a lesson ... Read full review

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Contents

ALICE ADAMS
3
CHAPTER II
14
CHAPTER III
29
CHAPTER IV
45
CHAPTER V
57
CHAPTER VI
73
CHAPTER VII
97
CHAPTER VIII
114
CHAPTER XIV
220
CHAPTER XV
240
CHAPTER XVI
259
CHAPTER XVII
275
CHAPTER XVIII
290
CHAPTER XIX
307
CHAPTER XX
325
CHAPTER XXI
346

CHAPTER IX
128
CHAPTER X
143
CHAPTER XI
158
CHAPTER XII
178
CHAPTER XIII
206
CHAPTER XXII
369
CHAPTER XXIII
388
CHAPTER XXIV
408
CHAPTER XXV
419
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About the author (2003)

Booth Tarkington was born in Indianapolis in 1889. He was a consummate interpreter of the Hoosier scene and a conscious booster of his native state, as evidenced in his best-selling Penrod adventures, Seventeen, and The Gentleman from Indiana. He was also, however, a serious and highly regarded writer, winning the Pulitzer Prize for the Magnificent Ambersons and for Alice Adams.

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