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Sanctuary

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  516 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
"It is good, ethically and artistically, to read and read again a book with such a lift." -- "New York Times" Kate Orme was in love -- until she learned her lover's terrible secret. But she married him anyway, out of a sense of obligation . . . and she loved their son, Dick, with all her heart. And she worried for him, even after his father passed -- worried that he'd have ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1903)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,316)
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Stela
For a modernist author, Edith Wharton is actually very traditional in Sanctuary, which is written almost like a classical work: with compositional equilibrium and morale and care for the metaphor. However, the novella isn’t pedantic (I don’t think there is a work of Edith Wharton that could be accused of this) and not even the theme – the power of education - would make you think so.

Shortly, this is the story of a young girl whose illusions about “happily ever after” are shattered just before h
...more
Krysta
Aug 30, 2010 Krysta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am sorry to report that Sanctuary simply was not of the same stuff that made Age of Innocence and House of Mirth great.

Many have addressed the morality angle behind this book: the main character married a morally deficient man with the hope that she could correct the deficiency in their children. Questionable judgment on her part? Probably. But I found that more impactful, if not interesting, part of Sanctuary to be the main character's inevitable development into what can only be called Amer
...more
Tatiana
Nov 18, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2010
Do women still do this sort of thing - marry a man they suddenly find out is a very unsavory/immoral character because they want to make sure any child born to this man is raised not to be like his father? And then, once this child is all grown-up, instead of advising him what is right or wrong, stand back to let him take the wrong path? Such idealism and passivity are hard for me to comprehend. But, as always, written beautifully.
Claire
The very short Sanctuary was published in 1903 and, as I thought about it, it struck me how Wharton's oeuvre is of such quality that you can pick anything, from anytime, and you'll still find yourself with something worth reading. Even if it's far from such peaks as The Age of Innocence o The House of Mirth, it will always be an insightful glance at a charachter's inner life and moral struggles.
She's probably the only one that could have had a remote hope of replacing Jane Austen as first goddes
...more
Lilmissmolly
I listened to the audio book version of Sanctuary narrated by Lee Ann Howlett. Sanctuary is one of Wharton's earlier novellas, having been published in 1903. As such it does not have the polished quality of her more famous works, such as The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence. However, Sanctuary includes Wharton's trademark use of dramatic irony.

The story centers on Kate, who marries a man after she discovers that he is morally flawed by failing to acknowledge his now deceased brother's wi
...more
Bob Arnold
I think it shows that this is one of her earliest books. Not going to be a favorite.
Shannon
I love Edith Wharton. I found this book at a used book sale, and the description on the flap (also the description on Sanctuary's Goodreads site) was intriguing. A dilemma of morality and a woman's honest efforts in conquering it or watching history repeat itself--I bought it and took it home to read.

Unfortunately, I found that reading the flap was not too dissimilar from reading the story. A powerhouse writer like Wharton should have devoted a novel-length work to such an idea. It felt abridged
...more
Rafa
Apr 12, 2014 Rafa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Escribe tan bien...
Pamela
Aug 07, 2013 Pamela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An about-to-be-married young women discovers a dark secret about her fiance. This compelling novella describes the choice she makes about what to do with her knowledge, and how that choice plays out over the decades. It's always such a pleasure to sink into Wharton's clean, controlled, evocative prose. So (seemingly) simply wrought, so effective. I found this title at a used book sale; I'd never heard of it. Glad I added it to my Wharton library.
Jennifer
Kate is madly in love with her fiancé. She is planning their wedding and looking forward to their future together. Unfortunately, she is about to find out a secret that he has that will forever change what she thinks of him. With this newfound knowledge, she is toils with her desire to be morally upright and for him to “do the right thing”. Years later, she finds herself in a similar situation, only this time with her son.

In this novella, Ms Wharton has explored the dilemma of morality in a wor
...more
Dave
Jul 15, 2010 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
A two-part plot that is reviewed in detail elsewhere. Wharton's style in 'Sanctuary' is a step in the stream of conciousness direction, as typified by Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, compared to the more accessible yet stronger plotted 'Ethan Frome'. Recommended as a study of literary form or moral dilemma examination.
Judy
Oct 04, 2010 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very slight novella by Edith Wharton - I enjoyed her beautiful prose style, but felt that, after a strong and disturbing opening, the rest of the story falls off somewhat and isn't up there with her at her greatest.
Maddy Hutter
Sanctuary is an early Wharton novella which addresses the immoral consequences of conventions of early 20th century well-to-do society. Kate Orme is about to be married when her fiance reveals an awful lie to her. She is thrown into a moral quandry but resolves (for a fairly complicated reason) to marry anyway. Slip forward 25 years; Kate's husband died years before and she has raised her son alone. The are very close (some would say too close. . .) and Kate must watch as he struggles with his o ...more
Janet
Sep 24, 2015 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge Edith Wharton fan and recently bought several of her lesser known works. "Sanctuary" is a novella but reads more like two related short stories. It is a tale of sacrifice, moral weakness, redemption, professional and societal ethics. While I think there was great potential, it never really satisfies. In truth it is a bit melodramatic, trying to make a mountain of story out of a mole hill of plot. This was Edith Wharton's 3rd novel, written in 1903. While her writing here is overwroug ...more
Misfit
Oct 08, 2013 Misfit marked it as the-kindle-black-hole
That should be enough kindle classic freebies for today. Couldn't stand seeing the box of credit card machine tape on my Amazon recent purchases :p
Bárbara
Jun 26, 2014 Bárbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro fue una experiencia extraña. Nunca había leído nada de Edith Wharton.

La historia no tiene nada de extraordinario y creo que el mérito del texto no radica ahí, sino en la forma. Fue muy placentero leer algo tan "articulado", tan cerebral para describir un drama de corte tan doméstico y mundano. Es como leer una versión limpia y hasta algo snob (y utilizo el término como halago, no como insulto) de un escenario corriente de la vida privada.

Creo que el mérito de Santuario radica en la p
...more
Ea Solinas
Edith Wharton's writing wallows in moral struggles and societal pressures, usually about adultery and social-climbing. But she tries a different approach for the novella "Sanctuary," a story that is thought-provoking and well-written, but feels more like the outline to a full-length novel than a story in its own right.

Kate Orme is wrapped up in her idyllic engagement to Denis, when a woman claiming to be his dissolute brother's wife kills herself and her child. To Kate's shock, Denis confesses t
...more
Dave
Jun 26, 2009 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, fiction
“Sanctuary” is a novella by Edith Wharton, published in 1903. From what I have read, the plot did not cause any surprises at the time, but today the story seems rather unusual. It is a story which deals with ethics, morality, and family honor. While there is nothing particularly unusual in that, some of the choices made by the main character, Kate, seem rather drastic today, and one has a difficult time imagining that any woman today would make similar choices. The story is divided into two part ...more
Judy
Nov 10, 2012 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jane
Mar 22, 2010 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
The opening line of Sanctuary stunned me.

“It is not often that youth allows itself to feel undividedly happy; the sensation is too much the result of selection and elimination to be within the awakening clutch of life.”

It’s a sad view of the world. And maybe a reminder of just how much the world has changed in the last hundred years or so.

Kate Orme is happy though. She is in love, and all her hopes and dreams are built around one person: her fiancé, Denis Peyton. But there are things she doesn’t
...more
Ernesto Pérez-castro
Sí, es preciso comenzar confesando mi debilidad por la prosa de Edith Wharton, debilidad que he venido a confirmar con "Santuario". Una novela breve, en la que si bien no encontramos la madurez en plenitud que es posible hallar en la celebérrima novela que es "La Edad de la Inocencia", comparte con ella la sutileza, la ironía y la mirada crítica sobre la sociedad burguesa en la que la propia Wharton se formó. Una de esas novelas que se disfrutan más cuando uno intenta ponerse en la mirada de un ...more
Ksania Katzman (Shzuplik)
This is why Wharton is one of my favorite authors . This little story is so amazing at its simplicity but the inner emotional and psychological conflict portrayed so aptly just make you delve into their lives as if you knew them..
Craig
Dec 18, 2010 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Kate Orme, engaged to be married to Denis Peyton, discovers a dark secret and postpones the marriage. Upon reflection, she rationalizes that if she fails to marry him, he would marry some other woman who would be oblivious to his secret and thus unprepared to steel any child born to them from perpetuating the father's (Denis) propensity. She proceeds to marry him, has a son by him, and her husband Denis dies seven years later. Kate becomes devoted to her son and raises him to be successful profe ...more
Elizabeth
Sep 23, 2014 Elizabeth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Meh... it was okay. I like Wharton's style of writing but this storyline was a bit dry. This is the first Edith Wharton book I've read and I will read more for sure.
Katiescarlett
Apr 16, 2015 Katiescarlett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So good. Great book for mothers
Amy
Feb 23, 2016 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an oddity.
Captmashpea
so definitely not my favorite Edith Wharton. I didn't listen to this book as I fell asleep at night and I think I might have missed some stuff mostly cuz its a short story everything happens really fast. but what I'm really getting from it is that Dick was a ridiculous mama's boy and his relationship with his mother was kind of sick.
(audiobook).
Atlantis
Apr 25, 2010 Atlantis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was not a favorite of mine. I love Edith Wharton and have liked other books that she has written but this one was disappointing. Her writing is as free flowing and easy to read as ever but the somber tone and feeling of "this can't end well" is just a downer from the very beginning. I think it is a good example of how woman had so few choices in the Victorian Era regarding marriage and family.
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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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“But hitherto she had been like some young captive brought up in a windowless palace whose painted walls she takes for the actual world. Now the palace had been shaken to its base, and and through a cleft in the walls she looked out upon life.” 3 likes
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