Washington Square by Henry James || Book Review

Another classic book bites the dust.

I’ve heard quite a lot about Henry James over the years, but I’ve never read any of his work before. I found this book at the library, the only one they had, and I thought it might be a good start to get familiar with his work.

DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.

Book review: Washing Square by Henry James #bookreview #henryjames #classicbooks #booktwt #bookaddict #booktwitter

Originally published: 1880

Pages: 205
Format: Paperback

Plot from GoodReads:

When timid and plain Catherine Sloper is courted by the dashing and determined Morris Townsend, her father, convinced that the young man is nothing more than a fortune-hunter, delivers an ultimatum: break off her engagement, or be stripped of her inheritance.

Torn between her desire to win her father’s love and approval and her passion for the only man who has ever declared his love for her, Catherine faces an agonising dilemma, and becomes all too aware of the restrictions that others seek to place on her freedom.


For a short read, it had a slow pace. It could’ve come across as slow as well because it’s a depressing read with hardly any traces of hope and just washed in sorrow. The final chapters just skip ahead into the future to show the outcome of certain decisions and where the characters ended up.

Catherine was pushed and pulled from one drama to the next by the rest of the characters and she didn’t have any say of her own in any of the matters. If she had the say, she’d lose everything anyway.

There’s no way to like Catherine’s father. He is selfish and arrogant, with no consideration for his daughter’s feelings and future. My heart felt pained for Catherine, being put down all her life by the ones that should love her unconditionally, expecting nothing from her and ending up dictating her life for her anyway.


This isn’t a happy book in any way. It highlights how important class and family duty is over potential true romance.

My Rating:

The book has a rating of 3.70 on GoodReads. I gave it a 4.

Washing Square by Henry James #bookreview #henryjames #classicbooks #booktwt #bookaddict #booktwitter

Have you read Washington Square?

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    • That is so true, now that you mention it! Thinking back to all the classics I’ve read this year, they are slow, and you really need to hope the characters do it some justice 🙂


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