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Bunner Sisters

Edith Wharton

Book Overview: 

Bunner Sisters, like The Age of Innocence is set in 1870s New York, however the lives of Ann Eliza and Evelina Bunner reflect impoverished New York. The sisters run a very small shop, in a shabby basement, in a sidestreet already doomed to decline. Shabby as it is, the sisters are happy in their small orderly community of supportive women. The story tells of the destruction of this life, and how the once content sisters are thrown into the realistic world outside of their little shop.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Besides, Evelina had not been intended by Providence to pine in such a narrow life: in the original plan of things, she had been meant to marry and have a baby, to wear silk on Sundays, and take a leading part in a Church circle. Hitherto opportunity had played her false; and for all her superior aspirations and carefully crimped hair she had remained as obscure and unsought as Ann Eliza. But the elder sister, who had long since accepted her own fate, had never accepted Evelina's. Once a pleasant young man who taught in Sunday-school had paid the younger Miss Bunner a few shy visits. That was years since, and he had speedily vanished from their view. Whether he had carried with him any of Evelina's illusions, Ann Eliza had never discovered; but his attentions had clad her sister in a halo of exquisite possibilities.

Ann Eliza, in those days, had never dreamed of allowing hersel. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Excitement over a marriage engagement, even if it's not yours... expectation falling oh-so devastatingly short!

"She had wanted so much to see the clock-maker again ..."

There is as much melancholic longing in this story about meek sisters as in her other perennial classics ("Ethan Frome" & "...more

Edith Wharton wrote with ease of New York's high society, of which she was a part, but she could also portray the struggles of the lower classes with effect. The Bunner Sisters is the story of two sisters barely making ends meet in a small shop in their neighborhood. But they are happy with their...more

Un relato muy triste y melancólico que emociona gracias a la capacidad de Wharton para retratar personajes corrientes y solitarios sobre los que no estamos acostumbrados que se detengan los grandes escritores.
Esta historia sigue a dos hermanas solteras y ya no muy jóvenes cuyos días transcurren a...more

4

Las historias ambientadas en siglos pasados siguen impactándome de la misma manera. Pese a la inmensa exposición de libros y películas con este contexto, aún me conmueve dolorosamente el papel de la mujer en aquellas épocas. Este es justamente el telón de fondo de las Hermanas Bunner, una socieda...more

I will start with the stumbling blocks. If you are looking for a cheery book, this isn’t for you. If old-fashioned writing is not your cup of tea, it Is not for you either. The prose is not hard to follow, but the words chosen to describe a scene, sentiment or action are not the words we would us...more

De nuevo la prosa exquisita de Edith Wharton, su perfección para recrear atmósferas y ambientes, y la vida de los personajes que las habitan. La historia de la pequeña mercería, escondida en los aledaños de Union Square, y las dos hermanas que intentan sacarla adelante, me ha roto completamente e...more

Typical Wharton novel. Things don't change except for worse.

Really surprised that this little novella isn't more well known. This is a poignant tale of two sisters their daily trials and tribulations as they live out their lives in genteel poverty in an attempt to keep their livelihood afloat.

Have to admit that I did start to tear up towards the end of th...more

Now she perceived that to refuse the gifts of life does not ensure their transmission to those for whom they have been surrendered; and her familiar heaven was unpeopled.

I'm convinced that Edith Wharton has written nothing short of a masterpiece. Every novel of hers that I pick up leaves me utter...more

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