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Indian Summer

William Dean Howells

Book Overview: 

In his novel Indian Summer, William Dean Howells presents a mellow but realistic story that has the complete feel of that delightful time of the year, although the plot actually spans several seasons. The Indian summer aspect applies to a sophisticated gentleman, Theodore Colville, who has just entered his middle years as he returns to a scene, Florence, Italy, that played an important part in his early manhood. It was here twenty years earlier that he first fell in love, seemingly successfully until a sudden and harsh rejection. Now, after a once profitable career as a newspaper editor has ended, he is barely ensconced in the Italian city when he meets a lady from his past, a close friend of his lost love. Lina Bowen, now a widow with a young daughter, is an attractive and charming socialite among the American and English residents of Florence. Also living with her at this time as a temporary ward is a beautiful young girl just blossoming into womanhood, Imogene Graham.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Mrs. Bowen, taking his arm, with a patient arrangement first of her fan, her bouquet, and her train, and then moving along by his side with a delicate footed pace, which insinuated and deprecated her dependence upon him.

There were only a few people in the supper-room, and they had it practically to themselves. She took a cup of tea and a slice of buttered bread, with a little salad, which she excused herself from eating because it was the day after her headache. "I shouldn't have thought you were hungry, Mrs. Bowen," he said, "if you hadn't told me so," and he recalled that, as a young girl, her friend used to laugh at her for having such a butterfly appetite; she was in fact one of those women who go through life the marvels of such of our brutal sex as observe the ethereal nature of their diet. But in an illogical revulsion of feeling. Colville, who was again . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Indian Summer is an old and polished gem. William Dean Howells was a star American novelist in his day (late 19th century), who has been overshadowed by the Jameses and Dickensons of the U.S. literary glitterati. So what a pleasure to find an American novelist I had never heard of and to be delighte

Henry James with diabetes.
Lina, Effie, Imogene conflict a US bachelor abroad, 1880s. Why are the charming names wasted on diseases? Consider : Syphilis (Witherspoon), Catarrh (Taylor), Diptheria (Ford).

Non appena ho letto la trama del romanzo la mia curiosità è salita alle stelle. In questo romanzo convergono un sacco di elementi che mi attirano sempre, in fatto di storie. Innanzitutto si tratta di un romanzo americano; è ambientato in Italia, precisamente nella bella Firenze, e racconta le viciss

Indian Summer è un romanzo sviluppato in sostanza sul nulla ma che intrattiene piacevolmente il lettore grazie al suo stile molto accattivante e semplice.
Il libro segue un certo Theodore Colville in piena crisi di mezz'età nelle sue piccole avventure amorose ed esistenziali sullo sfondo di una Firen

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