As many of you may know, I am no longer a New Yorker, so please check out my new blog A Library of My Own. If you are just reading Life and Times, you are missing out. Thanks!

Friday, August 1, 2008

1001 Book Update - Summer

I took some great advice from some fellow bloggers and instead of reading Charles Dickens this summer I read a book called Summer by Edith Wharton. What a perfect title for a summer selection. It is a short book and is on the 1001 To Read List.

But I am torn over this book. I've only read one other Wharton book, The Age of Innocence, and should have realized that Summer wasn't going to be a happily ever after type of book. Yes, there's first love, summer-time romance, and even a marriage at the end. But Wharton is way too realistic for just that. There are also fallen women, abortion clinics, poverty, death, and indecent proposals.

So I'll give a brief synopsis without trying to give away the whole story. The main character is 18 year-old Charity. She was "brought down from the mountains" and adopted by a wealthy couple when she was small. She is employed during the summer as the librarian at the local town library when she meets a young and handsome man. The book takes place during this summer of her life.

Since the book is so short that is all I am going to write about it. Did I like the book? Well...Edith Wharton's writing is always very good. I love her writing actually. And the story was very good. I wasn't too sympathetic with Charity to begin with and thought she was quite spoilt and bratty...but then I felt sorry for her. And in the end...well...I was just a little sad. So take that all how you will...

Here's a section in the book which just epitomizes summer-time romance:

"The haze of the morning had become a sort of clear tremor over everything, like the colourless vibration about a flame; and the opulent landscape seemed to droop under it. But to Charity the heat was a stimulant: it enveloped the whole world in the same glow that burned at her heart. Now and then a lurch of the train flung her against Harney, and through her thin muslin she felt the touch of his sleeve. She steadied herself, their eyes met, and the flaming breath of the day seemed to enclose them."

P.S. My brother just got a job at Barnes & Nobles so my links to books will now be linking Barnes & Nobles and not Amazon.

Also Reviewed by:

The Zen Leaf


  1. The novel Summer is featured in The Privilege of Voting

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  2. Summer does sound like such a pleasant name for such heavy topics! I noticed that you haven't left your links for the classics books you've been reading on the classics challenge blog--don't forget to do that to be eligible for the final prize! :) Although, I think it will be a gift certificate to Amazon rather than B&N... Good luck to your brother and his new job.


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