I've never been a Henry James fan. I can't say that I liked this much better than anything else of his I've read. Honestly, though, what I disliked most about this one wasn't the writing. It's more that the social mores of the time period angered me. So, really, I'm giving the situation a 2-star rating probably more than I'm giving the book itself a 2-star rating. I guess I really am a women's libber when it comes right down to it because it infuriates me to view a society where a woman is not allowed to behave naturally. It also really cooks my gizzard to read about people behaving rudely as a result of class division.
Here, we have Daisy Miller who is an American free-spirit living abroad. She enjoys going where she wants alone or accompanied by a male friend. But neither of these options are socially acceptable and invites gossip of the worst sort. Also not acceptable is for a person of a higher socioeconomic status to be seen with her. As a person who has traditionally had mainly male friends all my life, I would have really suffered under such a social rule. And I'd like to think that classist thinking is dead, but it's absolutely not. I was shocked a few days ago from a conversation that an international student of mine relayed to me where a snooty American girl on a university campus told him that she couldn't be his friend because he was a scholarship student which meant that he must be poorer than her. What the hell?
I like to imagine that humans will one day be above all this nonsense, but we still have a long way to go.