My introduction calls Edith Wharton professional and that she certainly is. This is the second book I have read by her, the first being The Age of Innocence. It is really a novella and not a novel, although it may technically exceed a novella's length.
While Wharton is motivated recurrently with a concern for illicit unattainable love, she is in a way too genteel with the emotions. I think that she also condescends a little to her peasantry and I am not sure how intimately familiar she was with them.
I`m never quite sure of James and how much I like him and I have similar feelings about Wharton. These turn of the century New England novels written by ex-expatriates make me nervous and I am not sure that they aren`t always a little too much from the head and not enough from the heart.
Frome`s wife is a good character and as the evil nemesis is the best realized character.
She`s not a bad writer, but I think I may stop reading her from now on.