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The Choice

Edith Wharton

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I found there were lots of motor-boats on the market, just as there's lots of stuff called champagne. But I said to myself: 'Ten to one there's only one fit to buy, just as there's only one champagne fit for a gentleman to drink.' Argued like a lawyer, eh, Austin?" He tossed this to Wrayford. "Take me for one of your own trade, wouldn't you? Well, I'm not such a fool as I look. I suppose you fellows who are tied to the treadmill—excuse me, Swordsley, but work's work, isn't it?—I suppose you think a man like me has nothing to do but take it easy: loll through life like a woman. By George, sir, I'd like either of you to see the time it takes—I won't say the brain—but just the time it takes to pick out a good motor-boat. Why, I went—"

Mrs. Stilling set her embroidery-frame noiselessly on the table at her side, and turned her head toward Wrayford. "Would you mind ringing for the tray?"

The interruption helped Mrs. Swordsley . . . Read More

Community Reviews

This was basically a short story from 1916. I picked it up at the same time that I got Coming Home and was hoping I would enjoy it as much. Not quite.

This is more about an unhappy marriage, where he is living off of her income and she can't wait for him to die. And continues to sign money over to h

A man spends all of his mother’s money and then goes through his wife’s funds, his latest boondoggle being his prized motor boat. She wishes him dead so that she could be with his lawyer, and her lover. But no sooner does she say the words out loud to her lover than her husband catches them together


Another pithy, compelling short story from the master.

Very short. What's there is good, but seems more of a sketch of an idea.

Different from most Wharton writings... what a choice though. I enjoyed the writing, but would have liked to know more of the past between all the characters. Wharton is a master story teller, easily able to transport her reader even in the shortest of stories.

Una historia trágica donde el destino se ríe de forma cruel de la infelicidad de una mujer atrapada en un matrimonio sin amor.
No es de las mejores novelles de Wharton, pero en ella se palpa la esencia de muchas de sus obras que reflejan y critican esos convencionalismos de la alta sociedad que limi

This is actually my first read of anything Wharton and it was wonderful. Very Downton Abbey, or I should say that Downton Abbey is very Edith Wharton. I'll be reading more. If an author can leave you hopeful but infuriated after only 16 pages, they're worth a closer look.