One of the first thing that draws me as a reader to a book is the cover. As an author, I’m always curious about the design involved in a cover:  the colors, the fonts, the imagery, etc. The covers I share here are not a promotion for the book itself, simply an admiration of the cover or aspects of it.

THE AGE OF DESIRE, by Jennie Fields

They say behind every great man is a woman. Behind Edith Wharton, there was Anna Bahlmann, her governess turned literary secretary, and her mothering, nurturing friend.

When at the age of forty-five, Edith falls passionately in love with a dashing younger journalist, Morton Fullerton, and is at last opened to the world of the sensual, it threatens everything certain in her life but especially her abiding friendship with Anna. As Edith’s marriage crumbles and Anna’s disapproval threatens to shatter their lifelong bond, the women must face the fragility at the heart of all friendships.

Told through the points of view of both women, The Age of Desire takes us on a vivid journey through Wharton’s early Gilded Age world: Paris with its glamorous literary salons and dark secret, the Whartons’ elegant house in Lenox, Massachusetts, and Henry James’s manse in Rye, England.

Edith’s real letters and intimate diary entries are woven throughout the book. The Age of Desire brings to life one of literature’s most beloved writers, whose own story was as complex and nuanced as that of any of the heroines she created.



My impression:  I love the bold, rich color of the woman’s dress, and paired with the background it creates a sumptuous, elegant cover. The background in particular is what drew me, for it reminds me of the summer I spent in Paris in college. I lived in a minuscule attic apartment, and each morning I would sit on the windowsill as I ate a still-warm pain au chocolat and watch as the people who lived in the elegant building across the street–reminiscent of the one in this cover–began their days. One family in particular held my attention throughout the summer. A grandfather lived with a couple and their two young children, and every morning the elderly gentleman would tend his lemon trees on the balcony. When he saw me perched on my high windowsill, he lifted a hand in greeting and then disappeared within only to return moments later bringing a chair and his demitasse onto the balcony. We spent each morning that summer sitting on our respective vantage points over an awakening Paris, apart but quietly together.


Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated at Flashlight Commentary. These lovely book bloggers also feature eye-catching covers:

The Maiden’s Court

A Bookaholic Swede

2 Kids and Tired

A Literary Vacation

Layered Pages



One thought on “Cover Crush: The Age of Desire

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