- Paperback: 108 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Reprint edition (October 12, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1453734805
- ISBN-13: 978-1453734803
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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As a summer full of romance draws to a close, a young woman discovers the heartbreak that autumn ushers in. Lorna Raver s narration masterfully tells the story of the rebellious but genuine Charity Royall. Raver s reading is thoughtful, capturing the warm emotions of the heroine while keeping with the slower pace of Wharton s depiction of the setting. In SUMMER, Wharton diverges from her usual focus on the New York elite, instead setting the story in rural New England. Raver makes the inhabitants of the small town come alive by using the rural dialects in her vocal characterizations. Her attention to dialect and tone absorbs the elements of Wharton s novel that make it authentically American. --AudioFile
About the Author
Edith Wharton was born Edith Newbold Jones on January 24, 1862, during the American Civil War. Wharton published her first short story in 1891; her first story collection, The Greater Inclination, in 1899; a novella called The Touchstone in 1900; and her first novel, a historical romance called The Valley of Decision, in 1902. The book that made Wharton famous was The House of Mirth, published in 1905. She died in 1937.
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Top Customer Reviews
Charity Royall is a character who predates her type (though not by a lot): the American heroine of imperfect birth and upbringing, who longs for more yet is a realist at heart. FRankly, Wharton rose in my esteem by virtue of this simple novel.
Wharton sets the story in an isolated village called North Dormer, evidently in the Berkshires of western Massachussetts. The heroine, a young woman named Charity Royall, is bored with her life there as the sole librarian of the village's shoddy, neglected library when one day she meets Lucius Harney, an urbane young architect who has come to North Dormer to visit a relative and to sketch colonial houses. Their initial friendship blossoms into a romance which is threatened by two factors: Charity's guardian, the local lawyer Mr. Royall, a stingy, miserable man who drinks too much, desires to marry her; and Charity, an orphan raised by Mr. Royall and his deceased wife, is embarrassed by her heritage as a child born among the shunned, destitute farmers who live up on the "Mountain," as it is called.
Wharton, the model of what good American prose looked like in the early twentieth century, is more importantly a thematic innovator who seeks to reflect female identity, in this case personified by a rustic girl who attempts to break the constraints of her native element by pursuing an improbable romance with a man whose sophistication allows him to take advantage of her simplicity, only to turn to another man whose position allows him to take advantage of the situation in which the first man placed her. One detects an echo of Wharton's own unhappy marriage in the story, and indeed the decision Charity makes at the end seems to spring from desperate resignation, the defeated sense of being trapped, rather than from true love. For Wharton, the way out was through the power and elegance of the written word, but Charity, oblivious to the wonder of the books she has so long tended but ignored, has no such option.