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Summer | [Edith Wharton]

Summer

Wharton's most erotic and lyrical novel, Summer explores a daring theme for 1917, a woman's awakening to her sexuality. Eighteen-year-old Charity Royall lives in the small town of North Dormer, ignorant of desire until the arrival of architect Lucius Harney. Like the succulent summer landscape in the Berkshires around them, Charity's romance is lush and picturesque, but its consequences are harsh and real.
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Publisher's Summary

Wharton's most erotic and lyrical novel, Summer explores a daring theme for 1917, a woman's awakening to her sexuality. Eighteen-year-old Charity Royall lives in the small town of North Dormer, ignorant of desire until the arrival of architect Lucius Harney. Like the succulent summer landscape in the Berkshires around them, Charity's romance is lush and picturesque, but its consequences are harsh and real.

Praised for its realism and candor by such writers as Joseph Conrad and Henry James and compared to Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Summer was one of Wharton's personal favorites of all her novels and remains as fresh and relevant today as when it was first written.

(P)1994 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Reader Grace Conlin distinguishes both men's and women's voices easily, using hushed, intimate tones to convey the sweetness of the romance. Yet an ephemeral quality in her delivery casts a shadow of reality on the story and reminds the listener that seasons change." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (71 )
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4.0 (13 )
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4.0 (13 )
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  •  
    Angelynn J Cambridge, MA, USA 08-23-04
    Angelynn J Cambridge, MA, USA 08-23-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent first audible purchase!"

    Grace Conlin is a great reader. At first I thought she was going to be too fast, but her pacing is excellent. She sweeps you right into the story. And this is a concise Wharton tale. Similar tragic tones to her other books. However, some lovely descriptions of New England countryside in the summer. A sad contrast to her heroine. I'm not done yet, about half way, but I find myself looking for excuses to pop in the headphones and listen.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty Massena, NY, United States 06-16-08
    Betty Massena, NY, United States 06-16-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The negative reviews frightened me"

    but I found the story enchanting, enthralling and somewhat ominously predictable. My first Edith Wharton but I believe I'll try another.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Calgary, Alberta, Canada 03-24-09
    Kenneth Calgary, Alberta, Canada 03-24-09
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    "More complex than Ethan Frome"

    This novella may be compared to Ethan Frome in that it is about country people rather than about the wealthy about whom Edith Wharton more commonly wrote. And yet this novel is more complex and emotionally compelling than the more famous work. The tragedy of this young woman's life and her seemingly unavoidable doom is spellbinding.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alicia Czechowski Baltimore Maryland 02-15-09
    Alicia Czechowski Baltimore Maryland 02-15-09 Member Since 2008
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    "basic, satisfying Wharton"

    The central character, Charity Royall, I found unsympathetic, but her troubles are vivid as she faces the traditional moral struggle of virtue vs restraint with convincing small-minded impulsiveness.

    Wharton is wise and worldly. Her understanding of the primacy of trivial things in relationships is profound. Charity blunders stupidly through life in a very human way. This is not a great novel like The House of Mirth, but Wharton weaves melodrama out of the stuff of an ordinary life.

    The reader is very good, except for the occasional odd pronunciation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Calgary, Alberta, Canada 07-26-12
    Jennifer Calgary, Alberta, Canada 07-26-12 Member Since 2010

    It was a good day when I realized I could combine my two hobbies- reading AND knitting. Audible has seen me through many projects!

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    "It's Okay"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I'm trying to get through all of Wharton's novels- I'd recommend this to a Wharton fan but not necessarily someone looking for that all encompassing "good read". It was scandalous at the time but it sort of has a predictable ending and I wasn't particularly satisfied with the heroine.


    If you’ve listened to books by Edith Wharton before, how does this one compare?

    There wasn't anything particularly wrong with the reader- I just didn't like her style. The reading felt very clipped and almost rushed.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Grace Conlin’s performances?

    Probably not.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Commack, NY, United States 04-23-10
    Barbara Commack, NY, United States 04-23-10
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    "Required "Summer" reading"

    Grace Conlin's initial rapid delivery of Edith Wharton's sensitive penetration of the Summer of adolescent dreams collapsing into the Fall of the realities of adult choices is worth the investment of the listener's patience. Once Conlin settles into her natural rhythm, she crafts a gem that should become the centerpiece of the setting of required summer reading for every high school girl--and her mother.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Horn Lake, MS, USA 03-03-05
    Larry Horn Lake, MS, USA 03-03-05
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    "Sluggish and Disappointing"

    It's very hard to like Wharton, and having never studied her within the academic world, I cannot understand her popularity and enduring publication. The story descriptions seem like ripe plums, but instead we bite into hard, green, sour flesh with no juice.

    Again we have a heroine who seems to drift, along with the story as a whole. Will we ever just get somewhere? If we must be languid, couldn't we at least enjoy the characters?

    I can only recommend this one if you are a Wharton fan or you're seeking a quiet ride in dull country.

    2 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Park city, KS, USA 01-20-05
    Jennifer Park city, KS, USA 01-20-05
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    "Summer"

    I thought the character did not have enough depth.

    0 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • Bridget
    Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom
    1/8/08
    Overall
    "Summer (unabridged), Edith Wharton"

    This was my first audiobook download and I loved it so much that I stayed awake until 2.00 a.m. to hear it out. The reader perfectly captured the elegant, ironic tone of the writing without sentimentality. The story itself never falters, moving rapidly from one development to another while perfectly encapsulating both character and setting. It is extraordinary to think that this story of a small town girl's sexual awakening, understanding and betrayal was written in 1916.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

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