Long out of print, Wharton's novel opens with a sentence that seems to have been written for the opening voice-over of a movie: ``It rose for them--their honey-moon--over the waters of a lake so famed as the scene of romantic raptures that they were rather proud of not having been afraid to choose it as the setting of their own.'' But Nick and Susy Lansing, each suffering from a genteel lack of money, have married out of convenience rather than romantic rapture. Intending to live off the generosity of wealthy acquaintances, they have also agreed that each shall be free to pursue a more socially desirable mate. What they didn't anticipate is that they would fall genuinely in love with each other. As Wharton tells their story, the sharp irony of both her prose and her characters bleeds into pools of true feeling.