My favorite book by Edith Wharton. Edith Newbold Jones was born in New York in 1862 and raised among the city’s highest society; the elegance, decadence, and strict unwritten rules of behavior of this American aristocracy were to become a central subject of her fiction. Wharton wrote with a shrewd eye toward the hypocrisy, cruelty, and corruption sometimes evident in the conduct of her social class.
...I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn't scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost. I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future.