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Summer

Edith Wharton

Book Overview: 

The story is one of only two novels by Wharton to be set in New England. The novel details the sexual awakening of its protagonist, Charity Royall, and shares many plot similarities with Wharton’s better known novel, Ethan Frome.(Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .But another kind of shyness had been born in her: a terror of exposing to vulgar perils the sacred treasure of her happiness. She was not sorry to have the neighbors suspect her of "going with" a young man from the city; but she did not want it known to all the countryside how many hours of the long June days she spent with him. What she most feared was that the inevitable comments should reach Mr. Royall. Charity was instinctively aware that few things concerning her escaped the eyes of the silent man under whose roof she lived; and in spite of the latitude which North Dormer accorded to courting couples she had always felt that, on the day when she showed too open a preference, Mr. Royall might, as she phrased it, make her "pay for it." How, she did not know; and her fear was the greater because it was undefinable. If she had been accepting the attentions of one of the village youths she would have been less apprehensive: Mr. Royall could not prevent her marrying when s. . . Read More

Community Reviews


IN FULL CIRCLE

This is a tale that comes to life during a Summer, and the descriptions of the airy landscape under the sun are amongst the most enrapturing aspects of this novel.

And then there is a story of conflict. First and foremost, of the heroine, Charity Royall, who is not a heroine at all...more

The summer version of Ethan Frome, but not quite as good.

this book is touted as "edith wharton's most erotic book". the introduction blabs on and on about its eroticism, and how scandalous it is. so i have devised a little drinking game. i invite you - i entreat you - to prepare a shot glass with your favorite scotch or whiskey, and do a shot every tim...more

This novel was first published in 1917 and I can’t help but be amazed by that. The themes in this novel are current, and as real today as they were a hundred years ago.

Charity Royall was born to a rough life on The Mountain and was rescued at the age of five by a lawyer in the village and his wif...more

Four reasons explain why this novella clicked for me:

*It is not about glitzy high society.

*It draws the life of ordinary people and it draws their lives realistically.

*It illustrates that real life consists most often of choosing between mediocre alternatives. Rarely are we given that chance i...more

“Sweet sleepy warmth of summer nights
Gazing at the distant lights
In the starry sky

“And when the rain
Beats against my windowpane
I'll think of summer days again
And dream of you”
--A Summer Song,Chad & Jeremy, Songwriters: Clive Metcalf / David Stuart / Keith Noble

``When I think of `Summer,' I t...more

Written in Wharton's inimitable style the prose in this novella is of course beautiful. Every word and phrase lends itself to defining summer in a small country town. It makes for beautiful reading.
Charity is not a likeable character but I still felt sorry for her. It was apparent from the outset...more

"The longing to escape, to get away from familiar faces, from places where she was known, had always been strong in her in moments of distress. She had a childish belief in the miraculous power of strange scenes and new faces to transform her life and wipe out bitter memories."

Ah, summertime. Wha...more

This was another great read by Edith Wharton. Although not as favored as Ethan Frome which it has been compared to, I loved it for the similarities of the complex characters and relationships. This one was a sad sort of coming of age story but more profound than a simple summer romance, and far f...more

I am so in love with the writing of Edith Wharton. It makes me feel foolish to have had such a writer in full view and passed her over for so many years in favor of lesser ones.

Edith Wharton's Summer is a different kind of novel than the others of hers that I have read, but not one bit less rich...more

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