A juicy, sprawling comedy of manners about a group of thirtysomethings navigating friendship, love, and their fledgling careers among Houston’s high-powered, oil-money elite
Thirty-year-old Vivienne Cally is wealthy in name only. Orphaned as a child and raised by a cold but regal aunt, Vivienne was taught to rely on her beauty and Texas tradition, and is expected to marry a wealthy and respectable man who will honor the Cally name. Friends with Houston’s richest and most prominent families, she’s a beloved fixture at the social events big and small, and she suffers no shortage of access to some of the city’s most eligible bachelors.
Preston Duffin has known Vivienne and her set since childhood. He’s never shared their social aspirations or their status but is liked and respected for his sharp wit and intelligence. About to graduate from a prestigious architecture program, he is both fascinated and repelled by this group of friends he sits on the cusp of, one that shares none of his curiosity about the world beyond Houston. He has long admired Vivienne’s beauty and grace, but he isn’t sure he holds any place in such a traditional life. Intrigued by Preston’s ambitions and the extent to which he challenges the only way of life she’s ever known, Vivienne both courts Preston’s attention and rebuffs his critiques of her predictable and antiquated priorities and values.
Inspired by Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, A Wife of Noble Character shares the original novel’s astute social commentary at the same time that it illuminates the trappings and rewards of coming of age that are wholly unique to the twenty-first century. Part biting wit, part good-old-fashioned love story, it will charm both fans of Wharton and anyone who has ever struggled to find their way in life.