I recently finished listening to The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, and it was a downer. Newland Archer sped up his engagement and wedding in order to quell feelings he had for his fiancee's cousin, but to no avail. He was still in love with her to the very end, at which point he was old and sad and couldn't even bring himself to go visit her. The cousin, Ellen, was persona non grata because she had left her husband but couldn't divorce lest it shame the family. It was, in short, a book about obligations vs. desires. I enjoyed the book very much, but it left me feeling sort of bummed. Luckily, things are a little better these days in terms of marrying outside one's class or race, but there is still a lingering stigma.