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Bunner Sisters

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  911 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
"Bunner Sisters," written in 1892 but not published until 1916 in Xingu and Other Stories, takes place in a shabby neighborhood in New York City. The two Bunner sisters, Ann Eliza the elder, and Evelina the younger, keep a small shop selling artificial flowers and small handsewn articles to Stuyvesant Square's "female population."
Ann Eliza gives Evelina a clock for her bir
Paperback, 136 pages
Published May 20th 2005 by 1st World Library (first published 1916)
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Apr 15, 2014 Fabian rated it liked it
Excitement over a marriage engagement, even if it's not yours... expectation falling oh-so devastatingly short!

"She had wanted so much to see the clock-maker again ..."

There is as much melancholic longing in this story about meek sisters as in her other perennial classics ("Ethan Frome" & "The House of Mirth" mainly). The clock that ticks at the center of the novella teaches that timing's everything. And NOBODY does repressed passionate love like Edith Wharton. However, the novel is burden
Oct 14, 2016 Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Now she perceived that to refuse the gifts of life does not ensure their transmission to those for whom they have been surrendered; and her familiar heaven was unpeopled.

I'm convinced that Edith Wharton has written nothing short of a masterpiece. Every novel of hers that I pick up leaves me utterly speechless. I highly recommend this novella to anyone who appreciates Wharton's style, characterization and prose. To those who are new to Edith Wharton, I'd recommend beginning with something a bit b
Oct 01, 2012 Sketchbook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A raw, wintry (and forgotten) novella of poverty, loneliness
and despair. Written in 1892 but unpublished until 1916 (editors
found it grim), EW - in top form - examines again her theme of
freedom vs individual responsibility (how far is far enough?)
As with "Ethan Frome" EWs wondrous imagination searches the
damaged souls of the stricken-class. A breathless experience.
The last scene of the surviving sister struggling through snowfall
to find work is DW Griffith cinema.
Aug 12, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it
"I really liked it" would be an accurate statement of how I felt about this work. "It was amazing" may be stretching it, since this isn't one of Wharton's masterpieces. Still it is a little semi-precious gem and I am glad I did not miss it. Written in the 1890s, but not published until later, this is the story of two spinster sisters (yes they really did use the word spinster once upon a time) who eke out a living in a rundown New York neighborhood by selling sewing trims, buttons, bows, ribbons ...more
Sep 14, 2016 Tabuyo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clásicos, drama
Un dramático pero delicioso relato. Jo, ¡¡¡Me está encantando Edith Wharton!!! Tengo que comprarme más libros suyos.
Sep 15, 2013 Sylvester rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio-book, classic, 2013
2.5* It shouldn't be a spoiler for Wharton fans that her books aren't the rose-coloured glasses kind. I kept thinking while listening to this one - what is it that draws us to these kind of books? We know there's going to be disillusionment and failure, but we keep on coming!? Somehow there is a mysterious satisfaction in reading about things going wrong for people, people we can relate to not just because they are written so skillfully but also because we have felt so much the same at times. Th ...more
Ann Eliza and Evelina Bunner live and work in their dress shop toward the dilapidated end of New York. Their lives are insular, quietly productive but not without small joys. It is such a small joy, a birthday gift of a clock, that sets in motion the events that will become their undoing. The purchase of the clock puts them in social contact with a lonely clockmaker, Herman Ramy, and for all his friendliness, good conversation and affection, he is not, as they say, what he seems. Alas, the siste ...more
Nanci Svensson
Jun 28, 2013 Nanci Svensson rated it liked it
Three or four stars? Decisions, decisions, decisions - however, I settled for three stars on account of the melodramatic, borderline kitsch narrative...
Going through public domain books that I've omitted to read hitherto I never want to a) read about death by "consumption" or b) fail to grasp those parts of the story that depend upon the elaborate rules of etiquette from last century.
And I thank god that my skills in the art of Small Talk will never be scrutinized by Edith Wharton, Henry James
Bunner Sisters or How Ann Eliza Dodges a Bullet....or does she?

This is grim and gloomy,and at the end you're left wondering which sister has the better fate. This audio book is just over 3 hours long,but that was plenty long enough to remind me how grateful I am not to have been around during the early 1900's. I think I'm going to be depressed for the rest of the day. Edith Wharton always makes me feel this way,and yet I still want to read her books.
A very surprising and emotional story.
Aug 26, 2013 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 1001, z-2013
Well, that was thoroughly depressing.
Aug 30, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richard Hannay
May 26, 2016 Richard Hannay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: club-delibes, 2016
Edith Wharton o como escribir maravillosamente sobre la pendiente de descenso de la vida. Dos hermanas, tienen una pequeña tienda de mercería, "Bunner Sisters" en el Nueva York del último tercio del siglo XIX. Viven, bien que pobremente, haciendo arreglos y flores de tela. Su círculo social es reducido pero su resignación es grande.

."Now and then, however, among their greyer hours there came one not bright enough to be called sunny, but rather of the silvery twilight hue which sometimes ends a
Perry Whitford
Apr 04, 2016 Perry Whitford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bunner Sisters are a couple of New York spinsters who run a modest business making and selling fake flowers.

Ann Eliza has a mother's affection for her younger sister, Evelina, a selflessness which has given her an 'idolatrous acceptance of the cruelties of fate'. Unfortunately her very generosity results in a Whartonesque lesson in 'the inutility of self-sacrifice.'

Mr. Ramy, who owns a small shop where Ann Eliza buys a clock for sister on the occasion when 'for the first time in her long ye
Maddy Hutter
May 09, 2014 Maddy Hutter rated it really liked it
You may be wondering how many novels Edith Wharton wrote, since I am banging them out one a week. I don't know, but most of these are short and always worth a listen. This one is a sad little tale of two down at heel sisters who live in New York City at the turn of the century. They subsist, happily enough, selling artificial flowers and other small items at an unpretentious shop where they live and work. Although there is nothing exciting about their life together, the young women make do well ...more
Nov 02, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it
Short, beautiful and sad... this is the tale of two sisters who only have each other. They run a small dress and hat shop in New York during what I am assuming is the depression. They have lived their entire lives together and depend entirely on each other for everything.

When a man in the form of local clockmaker Mr. Ramy enters their lives their world begins to change. This tale is beautifully written, very powerful and disturbingly poignant even today. I would not recommend buying this because
Sep 11, 2008 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
What an unexpected sad little story. For the first few pages, I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue. I had no idea what the story was about, and just wasn't too impressed. But within one page my opinion changed, and I can't even really say why. It just turned and got much better.

I soon remembered that Wharton had also written Ethan Frome, which I had an instant liking to when I read it back in high school. That is one story that has always stuck with me, it just struck some chord in me, and I fe
Edith Wharton wrote with ease of New York's high society, of which she was a part, but she could also portray the the struggles of the lower classes with effect. The Bunner Sisters is the story of two sisters barely making ends meet in a small shop in their neighborhood, although they are happy with their companionship and routine. Things change forever, and for the worse, when they meet a local clockmaker. Wharton reminds us that when you make poor choices, the results can be devastating, regar ...more
Jan 25, 2013 Lugene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of two sisters who live a simple life as seamstresses in a rundown part of New York City in the early 1900's. Their lives change forever when a sad, sickly clock maker moves into their neighborhood and begins courting one of the sisters. This is Edith Wharton, so don't expect a light, cheerful read. It doesn't end well, but it is a thoughtful short story that reflects the reality of the period for some. I read the free e-book edition from Amazon that was transcribed as part of ...more
Travelling Sunny
Why, oh why, do all of Edith Wharton's stories end so sadly??? No matter - once started, I cannot put down one of her books.

Two sisters, living together, plying their trade of sewing and decorating in a run-down little shop in New York. After a chance encounter, one man enters their lives and nothing is ever the same. He woos the younger sister, much to the older sister's chagrin. But he's not the catch that either of them had made him out to be.
Jan 24, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a jewel of a little book but I love just about all Edith Wharton novels. I liked that this was a bit of a departure from her typical books centering around NYC society and instead focused on a pair of "old maid" sisters who ran a hat shop and made ends meet but were very much working class living by Stuyvesant Square. It's beautiful and heartbreaking and definitely well worth the quick read.
E. Chainey (Bookowski)
Klasik edebiyatın neden klasik olduğunu böyle kitaplarla anlıyoruz. Anlatımdaki incelik hissedilmeyecek gibi değil. Ama hikaye aslında çok daha geniş olabilirdi. Wharton keşke daha uzun yazsaymış kitabı.
Joe Rodeck
Oct 10, 2013 Joe Rodeck rated it it was amazing
Short harrowing shocker of the finding Mr Wrong variety. Probably would have been more well-known if not for content that would offend Catholics. I devoured it with the ghoulish interest of one watching a train wreck.

Edith Wharton was ahead of her time,
Aug 02, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it
Another one off The List, although not the current edition. Wharton writes beautifully and the characters are poignantly drawn, but this was such a depressing read.
Nov 08, 2015 Umi rated it it was amazing
Well written but indeed a bit dark. Probably not a great pre-bed read, but delivers that tentative longing for New York more or less suited to that time of evening.
Feb 09, 2017 JOSE MARIA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es cierto que nos sitúa en un ambiente muy diferente al que estamos habituados, se aleja de una manera radical de todo el boato que hace gala en continuas ocasiones, abandona los quehaceres de las élites para bajar de una manera radical a lo mas modesto de una sociedad en la que conseguir lo básico para subsistir no siempre era un camino de rosas...
Judith Rich
Feb 23, 2017 Judith Rich rated it it was ok
A hilarious story of endless jollity. Not.

What a miserable tale. I'm also not entirely convinced that Edith Wharton actually knew anyone who was this poor. I imagine her more like the folk in The Age of Innocence.

Read as part of my annual 1001 BTRBYD challenge.
Feb 22, 2017 Marisol rated it liked it
Edith Warthon nunca defrauda, una novela corta con una trama simple que se vuelve compleja, mostrando la vulnerabilidad de los seres humanos.
Alice Yoder
Mar 02, 2017 Alice Yoder rated it it was amazing
A quick read and very good. You can relate to the characters because they are every day people -- like us. Things happen in real life, they happen in this book.
Francene Carroll
Aug 23, 2014 Francene Carroll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*spoilers* *Kindle freebie*

A compelling, heartbreaking little novella about two sisters struggling to eek an existence as small shopkeepers on the margins of late nineteenth-century society in New York. Even though I knew it was going to end in tears, part of me kept hoping against hope that everything would turn out for Evelina and her sister Ann Eliza, who is willing to sacrifice her own chance at happiness for her self-absorbed younger sibling.

Ann Eliza tries hard to be content with her lot
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Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the a ...more
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“...they who exchange their independence for the sweet name of Wife must be prepared to find all is not gold that glitters...

...Eş gibi tatlı bir kelime karşılığında özgürlüklerinden vazgeçenler, parlayan her şeyin altın olmadığını görmeye hazırlıklı olmalıdırlar...”
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