Wow, this is a depressing book but narrated with both a resigned and jaunty air. Originally this book was to be named the Saddest Story Ever Told and that is no understatement. Yes, the Ashburnham’s at the center of the story do not seem the type to care about. Nor is the casual wealth of narrator John Dowell and his wife Florence helping to relate to them.
Even still the dissolution of not only two marriages and four people in shells of their past selves is just harrowing. No one comes out unscathed by the end. For a book from 1915, this is really a deep dive into therapy.
To drink, I would look for beers that mimic cocktails. Boulevard, Firestone Walker and others have versions out there. Or look for a wine/beer hybrid to go for that continental feel of the lazily rich.