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The Bunner Sisters Paperback – November 17, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1466233652 ISBN-10: 1466233656
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 82 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466233656
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466233652
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,712,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Baker on July 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Edith Wharton, one of my favorite writers, always amazes me with the deftness of her narrative gifts (suspense, characterization, storyline, plot, point-of-view) in achieving a subtle, powerful message.

I've always suspected that Wharton's choice of subject matter was driven by her repulsion to the overly sentimental fiction produced for the female magazine readers of her day -- serialized romances illustrating blunt moral cliches with improbably happy endings, all completely remote from the realities of life.

In this story, 2 mediocre seamstresses who literally crank out a living selling pinked flounces, buttons, sewing notions, and millinery trims find their mundane but stable routines disturbed by charming, mysterious clockmaker Herman Ramy, who awakens their romantic yearnings. In the typical romance of Wharton's day, the elder sister Ann Eliza would sacrifice her dreams for the bliss of the younger Evelina, and everyone would live happily ever after.

But Wharton skewers the cliche and delivers a razor-sharp observation of the realities of the urban working-class, complete with a scathing indictment on how society treats women over 30 years of age. This story's power lies in showing how destructive sentimental notions of womanhood are to individuals who don't realize their own strengths.

(I read the free online version of this story via the Gutenberg Project.)
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By RIZZO _*.*_ VINE VOICE on June 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
It was the play version of Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome that pushed me to read more of her wonderful books. What has intrigued me is her writing style. She will go for pages without much happening, but you learn an awful lot in those few pages.

Edith Wharton's Bunner Sisters takes place in New York, 1916 where hard times have fallen upon two sisters who run a shabby little dressmaker's shop adjacent to their dwelling. The elder sister, Ann Eliza, and her younger sister Evelina have encountered a sickly, but educated clockmaker who sells her a clock. At first, knowledge of his personality and previous lifestyle are unknown to the sisters, but they slowly befriend the lonely man and his visits to the home are frequent thoughout the next few months. He becomes a part of their lives and his existence is with some mystery. His interest to one of the sisters moves the story in another direction and into another phase of their lives.

The writing style of Wharton is unlike others, as she uses words that not only describe a scene in an era or condition, but with descriptive phrases that depict feelings, moods, attitudes, and mystery. She has given the reader just enough information about the man to carry the story forward without revealing too much, to know something is coming up. The air of mysterious is always around as we learn about the old man, his relationship with the sisters and the confidence they have in him. You will learn the symbolic references to time, age and transition, as the clock tic tocks and winds.

This is a wonderful read on the socio-economic hard times during the era, the smaller run dressmaking industry, and mostly, the relationships between three people and the care between two sisters. Bunner Sisters is a novelette. Like any other Wharton short novel, this one is filled with mysterious interest! .....Rizzo
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl on April 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Good short novel about two spinster sisters who run a sewing shop together. The plot emphasizes how a seemingly insignificant act. like buying a birthday present, can have enormous consequences in the future.

It first startsout as a pleasant account of simple lives. However, the path the story takes becomes unexpected and emotional. Worth reading.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By PuroShaggy on September 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am a big Edith Wharton fan. Her winter/summer "love gone wrong" companion classics "Ethan Frome" and "Summer" are two of the most emotionally engaging, well-written bursts of passion, romance, and frustration ever written. "Bunner Sisters", another depressing tale of people struggling to find love in life, continues the trend of short, well written novellas, but due to an over-active plot, ultimately fails to achieve the literary heights of the two former works.
The Bunner sisters are independent spinsters who run a small store and seem content to waste away in solitude, with only each other. When the older sister decides to spend her savings on a clock for her sister's birthday, she becomes infatuated with the clock maker, and thanks to a series of events, soon finds him a regular visitor in her house. Unfortunately, he seems to have eyes for the younger sister- or at least that what she and everyone else believes- until the day he abruptly asks the older sister to marry him.
At this point, the novel was actually quite engaging and the conflicted passions of both sisters held intrigue and emotion. Unfortunately, this is the first of many more plot twists, some of which work, others of which send the tone of the book into a whole different genre.
Wharton is an excellent writer and that is evident here. She took a brilliantly simple idea, however- two sisters vying for a bachelor's love- and convoluted it to an unnecessary degree.
This book is enjoyable, but not quite the masterpieces of Wharton's other books.
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