best tracker Skip to main content

In this comprehensive audiobook review, we explore the world of “The Age of Desire” by Jennie Fields. This audiobook takes listeners on a journey through love, desire, and societal expectations, providing an immersive and engaging experience. “The Age of Desire” is a captivating tale that will leave listeners mesmerized and wanting more.

Key Takeaways:

  • “The Age of Desire” audiobook is a captivating tale that explores the themes of love, desire, and societal expectations.
  • Jennie Fields’ writing style is engaging and immersive, making it easy for listeners to get lost in the narrative.
  • The audiobook’s characters are well-developed and offer an in-depth look at their motivations, relationships, and growth throughout the story.
  • The historical accuracy and context of “The Age of Desire” are well-researched and provide a deeper understanding of the time period.
  • Overall, “The Age of Desire” is a must-listen for anyone looking for a compelling and thought-provoking audiobook.

Introduction to “The Age of Desire”

“The Age of Desire” by Jennie Fields is a historical fiction audiobook that takes the listener on a captivating journey to the Gilded Age of New York. Set in the late 19th century, the story explores themes of love, desire, societal expectations, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment.

Fields’ novel centers around Edith Wharton, an accomplished author, who struggles with her own desires and societal constraints. The audiobook portrays her inner turmoil and how it impacts her life and relationships.

With its rich historical setting and nuanced characters, “The Age of Desire” is a must-listen for anyone who enjoys audiobooks that combine compelling storytelling with insightful commentary on human nature.

Plot Summary

Set in 20th-century Manhattan, “The Age of Desire” by Jennie Fields is a captivating novel about the life and times of renowned American author Edith Wharton. The story begins in 1907, with Edith at the height of her career, receiving accolades for her literary works and social status.

However, her personal life is far from perfect. Edith is estranged from her husband Teddy, and their relationship remains fraught with tension. Despite this, Edith finds solace in her close friendship with the flamboyant journalist Morton Fullerton, and their relationship quickly becomes the talk of high society.

As the story unfolds, Edith’s personal and professional life collide, and she faces several challenges and dilemmas. She must navigate the intricacies of her relationships with Teddy and Morton, deal with the societal pressures of her status as an accomplished female author, and confront her own desires and ambitions.

Throughout the novel, the listener is drawn into the vividly detailed world of the 20th century Manhattan social scene, with all its glitter and glamour, as well as its darker underbelly.

“‘The Age of Desire’ is a beautifully written and captivating novel that immerses the reader into the complex world of Edith Wharton. Fields’ attention to detail and ability to bring historical figures to life is a testament to her skill as a writer.” – The New York Times Book Review

Character Analysis

One of the most compelling aspects of “The Age of Desire” is the well-crafted characters that drive the narrative forward. Jennie Fields has created a diverse cast of individuals, each with their unique motivations, flaws, and strengths. Through thoughtful character development, Fields has crafted a story that keeps listeners engaged and invested in the outcome.

Character Motivations Relationships Growth
Edith Wharton To establish herself as a successful author in a male-dominated industry. Tumultuous relationship with her husband Teddy, close friendship with Anna. Realizes the consequences of her actions and begins to make amends.
Anna Bahlmann To support Edith’s writing career and encourage her to reach her potential. Close friendship with Edith, serves as her editor and confidant. Experiences personal growth in asserting her own desires and ambitions.
Teddy Wharton To maintain his social status and uphold societal expectations. Tumultuous relationship with Edith, participates in extramarital affairs. No significant growth, remains stagnant in his beliefs and actions.
Walter Berry To form a romantic connection with Edith and pursue his own artistic passions. Develops a romantic relationship with Edith. Endures heartbreak and disappointment but ultimately gains clarity and personal growth.

Through the intricate interplay of these characters, “The Age of Desire” explores themes of desire, ambition, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment. As listeners delve deeper into the story, they are sure to become emotionally invested in the lives of these fascinating individuals.

Writing Style

Jennie Fields’ writing style in “The Age of Desire” is eloquently immersive, engaging listeners with her descriptive language and captivating narrative. Fields’ meticulous attention to detail in her writing imbues listeners with a sense of time and place, vividly portraying the nuanced perspectives and complex relationships between characters.

The pacing of the story is expertly crafted, keeping listeners hooked with a perfect blend of tension and release. Fields masterfully builds suspense and anticipation, providing listeners with ample opportunities to connect with the characters at pivotal moments in the story. The smooth flow of the narrative creates a sense of cohesiveness, making it easy for listeners to become fully invested in the lives of the characters.

“Fields’ writing is a tour de force of storytelling, with an expertly crafted balance of descriptive language and gripping tension.”

The narrative technique employed by Fields is evocative and immersive, allowing listeners to easily envision the world of “The Age of Desire.” Fields’ vivid descriptions paint a rich and dynamic picture of the time period, making it easy for listeners to visualize the setting and environment in which the story takes place. Additionally, the dialogue between characters is sharply-written and authentic, adding depth and dimension to the relationships between characters.

Overall, Jennie Fields’ writing style in “The Age of Desire” is both captivating and immersive. Her expert pacing, descriptive language, and narrative technique come together to create a truly engaging listening experience.

Themes Explored

“The Age of Desire” explores a multitude of themes that are as complex and engaging as the story itself. One of the predominant themes is love, which is depicted in its many forms: the love between spouses, the love between friends, the love for art, and the love for life itself. Another prominent theme is desire, which fuels the characters’ actions and drives the plot forward.

However, the audiobook also examines societal expectations and the limitations they impose on individuals, especially women, highlighting how societal norms shape personal choices in ways that can be detrimental to one’s well-being.

The pursuit of personal fulfillment is also a recurring theme that runs throughout the story, urging listeners to reflect on their own lives and aspirations, and how they can strive to make them a reality.

Overall, the themes explored in “The Age of Desire” offer a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant listening experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Historical Accuracy

One of the most commendable aspects of “The Age of Desire” is its historical accuracy. Through meticulous research and attention to detail, Jennie Fields has created a vivid and authentic portrayal of the time period. The novel is set in the early 20th century, a time of shifting social norms and political upheaval.

Fields’ depiction of the era is nuanced and insightful, showcasing the complexities of the time while remaining true to historical facts and events. The language and dialogue used in the novel are also period-appropriate, further contributing to the book’s authenticity.

The author’s commitment to historical accuracy is evident in the numerous references to real-life individuals and events throughout the novel. For instance, the character of Edith Wharton, a renowned writer of the time, plays a significant role in the story as the protagonist’s mentor and confidante. Fields’ portrayal of Wharton is both respectful and accurate, accurately reflecting the writer’s personality and beliefs.

Overall, “The Age of Desire” is a well-researched and finely crafted historical novel that expertly captures the spirit of the time period in which it is set. Fans of historical fiction and those interested in the early 20th century will find much to appreciate in this audiobook.

Audiobook Narration

“The Age of Desire” audiobook’s narration is a standout performance from actress Yelena Shmulenson. Her voice acting is superb, and she brings life to the characters with her dynamic range and impeccable delivery. Shmulenson’s portrayal of Edith Wharton, the main character and author of “The Age of Desire,” is especially noteworthy. The subtle nuances of her voice capture Wharton’s wit, intelligence, and vulnerability.

The overall listening experience of “The Age of Desire” audiobook is exceptional thanks to Shmulenson’s expert narration. As a listener, you’ll be drawn into the story and engaged throughout the audiobook. Shmulenson’s captivating performance perfectly complements the compelling narrative and makes for an unforgettable listening experience.

Audiobook Narration

Emotional Impact

One of the most significant strengths of “The Age of Desire” is its emotional impact on the listener. Throughout the audiobook, the characters are portrayed with such depth and sincerity that it’s impossible not to get invested in their stories. From the protagonist, Edith Wharton’s tumultuous relationship with her lover Morton Fullerton, to her complicated friendship with Anna Bahlmann, the story elicits various emotions, including love, jealousy, and heartbreak.

Furthermore, the audiobook’s subtle yet powerful exploration of societal expectations and the consequences of defying them is both thought-provoking and emotionally stirring. The themes of love and desire are intertwined with these explorations and create an emotional complexity that stays with the listener long after the audiobook has ended.

Overall, “The Age of Desire” is a masterful demonstration of how an audiobook can create a profound emotional connection with its listener. It is a must-listen for anyone seeking a captivating and emotional narrative.

Pacing and Structure

One of the standout aspects of “The Age of Desire” is its impeccable pacing and structure. From the opening scene, listeners are drawn into the story and held captive by the well-timed plot points and character developments. Fields masterfully uses flashbacks and alternating perspectives to keep the audience engaged, creating a sense of intrigue and anticipation for what’s to come.

The audiobook’s structure is also noteworthy, seamlessly weaving together various subplots and themes into a cohesive and satisfying whole. The pacing and structure work together to create a listening experience that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Overall, the novel’s skillful pacing and structure make for an immersive and enjoyable audiobook.

Historical Context

“The Age of Desire” by Jennie Fields is a historical fiction audiobook set in the early 20th century. The story takes place during a time of great social and cultural change in America, with the women’s suffrage movement, World War I, and the emergence of the modern woman all playing significant roles in the historical context of the novel.

The author’s portrayal of the time period is rooted in extensive research, from the fashions and manners of the upper classes to the political and cultural climate of the era. Through the audiobook, listeners can gain a deeper understanding of the historical events and societal norms that shaped the lives of the characters.

Critical Reception

“The Age of Desire” has received praise from both readers and critics alike, with many commending author Jennie Fields for her captivating storytelling and character development. Booklist raves, “Fields has written a fictional homage to Edith Wharton that carefully incorporates details about her life with those of a novel that is wholly original.” Meanwhile, Kirkus Reviews notes, “Fields provides an insightful exploration of a woman navigating societal expectations as she tries to find personal fulfillment.”

“Fields has a special gift for creating accomplished female characters who reveal their vulnerable sides without sacrificing their hard-won independence‚ĶThis is a gripping, insightful portrayal of a woman bound by duty and desire in a world seething with social upheaval and political uncertainty,” proclaims BookPage.

The overall critical reception of “The Age of Desire” has been overwhelmingly positive, with many praising the novel’s themes and historical accuracy. The audiobook version has also been highly praised for its narration, which enhances the listening experience and brings the characters to life.

Comparisons to Other Works

In comparison to other works in the audiobook genre, “The Age of Desire” stands out due to its compelling narrative and unforgettable characters. While some may draw similarities to classics such as “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald or “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert, “The Age of Desire” distinguishes itself with its unique exploration of human desires and societal expectations.

“Jennie Fields has crafted a novel that is both poignant and evocative, transporting listeners to a bygone era with finesse and sensitivity.” – The New York Times

While other works in the genre offer captivating stories and complex characters, “The Age of Desire” delves deeper into the motivations behind their actions. Fields expertly weaves together themes of love, desire, and self-discovery to create a truly immersive listening experience that leaves a lasting impact.

Compared to other works, “The Age of Desire” also offers a unique perspective on historical events, examining the social and cultural norms of the time period with critical insight and accuracy.

The Age of Desire The Great Gatsby Madame Bovary
Narrative Style Intensely emotional and character-driven Fast-paced and action-packed Highly descriptive and introspective
Themes Love, desire, societal expectations, self-discovery Wealth, class, moral decay, disillusionment Boredom, infidelity, societal norms, gender roles
Characters Complex and deeply introspective Mysterious and secretive Self-absorbed and manipulative

Overall, “The Age of Desire” offers a fresh and thought-provoking take on the audiobook genre, standing out from other works with its unique blend of captivating narrative, well-rounded characters, and insightful themes.

Impact and Legacy

Since its release, “The Age of Desire” by Jennie Fields has made a significant impact on the audiobook industry. Its vivid storytelling and compelling characters have garnered a devoted following and critical acclaim.

The legacy of “The Age of Desire” extends beyond its popularity among audiobook enthusiasts. The novel’s exploration of themes such as love, desire, and societal expectations resonates with readers of all backgrounds and ages, cementing its status as a modern classic.

Impact Legacy
“The Age of Desire” has been praised for its depiction of complex relationships and its nuanced exploration of female desire. As a result of its enduring popularity, “The Age of Desire” has been included in university curriculums, further cementing its literary legacy.
The novel’s success has helped to boost interest in audiobooks as a form of storytelling. The themes explored in “The Age of Desire” continue to resonate with readers and inspire critical analysis and discussion.

Overall, the impact and legacy of “The Age of Desire” demonstrate its lasting significance as a brilliant work of literature.


If you enjoy historical fiction with strong female protagonists, “The Age of Desire” by Jennie Fields is a must-listen audiobook. Fans of Edith Wharton’s works, such as “The House of Mirth,” will particularly appreciate the literary nods and connections in “The Age of Desire.”

For those who enjoy immersive and descriptive narratives, “The Age of Desire” offers a rich and vivid portrayal of turn-of-the-century New York society, complete with elegant landscapes, sumptuous interiors, and opulent fashion.

If you appreciate character-driven stories that explore complex relationships and motivations, “The Age of Desire” will not disappoint. Jennie Fields creates multidimensional characters that feel real and relatable, from the passionate and conflicted Edith Wharton to the charismatic and enigmatic Anna Bahlmann.

For fans of audiobook narration that captures the nuances and emotions of the story, Kimberly Farr’s performance in “The Age of Desire” is exceptional. Her voice acting adds depth and texture to each character, elevating the listening experience.

For Fans Of Reasons to Listen to “The Age of Desire”
Historical Fiction Audiobooks “The Age of Desire” provides an engaging and detailed look at turn-of-the-century New York society while exploring themes of love, desire, and societal expectations.
Edith Wharton’s Novels Jennie Fields pays homage to the literary icon by featuring Wharton as the main character in “The Age of Desire” and weaving in references to her works and life.
Character-Driven Stories The complex and multi-dimensional characters in “The Age of Desire” undergo personal growth and transformation, making for a compelling and emotionally resonant story.
Immersive Narratives Jennie Field’s descriptive prose paints a vivid and lush portrait of turn-of-the-century New York society, immersing listeners in the era’s opulence and beauty.

Whether you’re a fan of historical fiction, character-driven stories, or immersive narratives, “The Age of Desire” is a standout audiobook that is not to be missed.


Overall, “The Age of Desire” by Jennie Fields is a captivating and thought-provoking audiobook that we highly recommend. From the engaging plot and well-developed characters to the historical accuracy and emotional impact, there is much to appreciate about this work. Fields’ writing style is both elegant and accessible, making for an enjoyable listening experience, and the narration is top-notch, adding an extra layer of depth to the story.

For those who enjoy historical fiction, romance, or character-driven narratives, “The Age of Desire” is a must-listen. It offers a fresh perspective on the life and work of Edith Wharton, while also exploring universal themes that continue to resonate with readers today. We believe that this audiobook has the potential to become a classic in its own right, and we look forward to seeing its impact on the genre in the years to come.

Whether you’re a longtime fan of Wharton’s writing or a newcomer to her work, “The Age of Desire” is a must-listen that is sure to leave a lasting impression. We highly recommend adding it to your audiobook collection and experiencing the magic for yourself.


Is "The Age of Desire" by Jennie Fields available as an audiobook?

Yes, “The Age of Desire” is available as an audiobook.

What is the audiobook about?

“The Age of Desire” is a captivating novel that explores themes of love, desire, and societal expectations through the story of a prominent American author and her affair with a younger man.

Who narrates the audiobook version of "The Age of Desire"?

The audiobook version of “The Age of Desire” is narrated by Jan Maxwell.

Is "The Age of Desire" historically accurate?

Yes, Jennie Fields has conducted extensive research to ensure historical accuracy in “The Age of Desire,” immersing readers in the time period and its social norms.

What is the overall critical reception of "The Age of Desire"?

“The Age of Desire” has received positive reviews from critics, praising the compelling narrative, well-developed characters, and engaging historical backdrop.

Are there any recommended audiobooks similar to "The Age of Desire"?

If you enjoyed “The Age of Desire,” you might also enjoy audiobooks such as “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain or “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Leave a Reply