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Daily Inspiration Podcast
January 31, 2023
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Some things are best mended by a break.

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Edith Wharton

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton’s ninth novel, “The Custom of the Country,” was published in 1913, the same year her 28-year marriage ended in divorce. At a time when divorce was still considered quite scandalous, Wharton explored the suffocating social mores of high society through the book’s protagonist Undine Spragg. Undine is an ambitious young woman from the Midwest who longs for a life of wealth and glamour, no matter the cost. This quote, while spoken in a flirtatious manner to the man who becomes Undine’s lover, reflects Wharton’s shrewd observations about women’s roles in society. Unlike her protagonist, Wharton was born into an affluent family, never had children, and never remarried following her divorce. Seen in that light, Undine’s life choices become a cautionary tale, and this quote echoes Wharton’s perhaps hard-won belief that making a break can sometimes be the best way to mend one’s sense of self-identity.

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