The Eternal Feminine by Carolyn Wells


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“The Eternal Feminine” by Carolyn Wells is a captivating novel that delves into the complexities of love, ambition, and the pursuit of happiness. Set against the backdrop of early 20th-century New York City, this compelling narrative follows the lives of three women from different walks of life as they navigate the challenges and opportunities that come their way. Through its richly drawn characters and intricate plotlines, “The Eternal Feminine” offers readers a poignant exploration of the timeless themes of self-discovery, empowerment, and the enduring power of female friendship.


The story revolves around three women: Eleanor Van Zandt, a wealthy socialite; Edith Holmes, a talented artist; and Eva Morton, a struggling actress. Despite their vastly different backgrounds, the women form a deep bond that transcends social barriers and societal expectations. As they navigate the complexities of love and relationships, they confront their own desires, ambitions, and insecurities, finding strength and solace in the support of one another.

Eleanor Van Zandt, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, is expected to marry into New York’s elite society and uphold her family’s prestigious reputation. However, Eleanor longs for more than a life of privilege and luxury. When she meets the charming and enigmatic artist, Hugh Melville, she finds herself drawn to him in ways she never imagined. As their relationship blossoms, Eleanor must confront the expectations of her family and society, risking everything for a chance at true love and fulfillment.

Edith Holmes, on the other hand, is a struggling artist who dreams of making a name for herself in the male-dominated world of art. Despite facing numerous obstacles and setbacks, Edith refuses to give up on her passion and determination to succeed. When she meets the charismatic art critic, Philip Carroll, she sees an opportunity to further her career and gain recognition for her work. However, as she becomes increasingly entangled in Philip’s world, Edith must confront the compromises she’s willing to make for the sake of her art and her independence.

Meanwhile, Eva Morton is a talented actress struggling to break into the competitive world of theater. With her dreams of stardom seemingly out of reach, Eva faces constant rejection and disappointment. However, when she meets the dashing playwright, Robert Elliot, she sees a chance to prove herself and fulfill her ambitions. As she navigates the challenges of her career and her tumultuous relationship with Robert, Eva must confront her own insecurities and find the strength to pursue her dreams on her own terms.

As the lives of Eleanor, Edith, and Eva intertwine, they are forced to confront their own desires, ambitions, and fears. Through their shared experiences and unwavering friendship, they discover the true meaning of love, sacrifice, and the enduring power of the human spirit.


“The Eternal Feminine” explores a variety of themes that resonate with readers of all backgrounds and ages. One of the central themes of the novel is the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment in the face of societal expectations and gender roles. Through the experiences of Eleanor, Edith, and Eva, the novel challenges traditional notions of femininity and explores the ways in which women navigate the complexities of love, ambition, and self-discovery.

Another prominent theme in the novel is the power of female friendship and solidarity. As Eleanor, Edith, and Eva support and uplift one another through life’s trials and tribulations, they demonstrate the importance of camaraderie and mutual support in overcoming adversity and achieving one’s goals. Their unwavering friendship serves as a source of strength and inspiration, reminding readers of the transformative power of human connection.

Additionally, “The Eternal Feminine” explores themes of identity, autonomy, and self-expression. Through the characters of Eleanor, Edith, and Eva, the novel highlights the importance of embracing one’s true self and pursuing one’s passions and dreams, regardless of societal expectations or external pressures. As the women confront their own desires and ambitions, they learn to assert themselves and carve out their own paths in life, refusing to be defined by the limitations imposed upon them by society.

Why Read “The Eternal Feminine”:

“The Eternal Feminine” is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that offers readers a compelling exploration of love, ambition, and the pursuit of happiness. With its richly drawn characters, intricate plotlines, and timeless themes, the novel invites readers to reflect on their own lives and aspirations, challenging them to confront their own desires, fears, and insecurities. Whether you’re a fan of historical fiction or simply looking for a poignant and engaging read, “The Eternal Feminine” is sure to captivate and inspire.

About the Author:

Carolyn Wells (1862–1942) was an American author and poet best known for her mystery novels and children’s books. With a career spanning over four decades, Wells produced a vast body of work that continues to be celebrated for its wit, charm, and enduring appeal. “The Eternal Feminine” is one of her

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