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Summer
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Short Story/Novella Collection > Summer - August 2018

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message 1: by Bob, Short Story Classics (last edited Sep 01, 2018 04:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bob | 4825 comments Mod
Our August 2018 Short Story/Novella is
Summer by Edith Wharton. It is listed at 127 pages, but it's longer, and was published in 1917.


message 2: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bob | 4825 comments Mod
First I owe everyone an apology. While I think this is going to be a great read, I failed to properly qualify it during nominations. Usually I check the first page of available editions to see if the majority of English (paper) printed editions meet the required number of pages, 130 or less. Had I done my job this book would not have made it to the poll.

I didn’t notice the error until I secured my copy for reading. My copy is 197 pages. Noting this, I went and checked the first page of listed goodreads editions. There are a total of 22 English paper printed editions listed on the first page, and only 3 have less than 130 pages.

Again, I apologize for the error but hope it is still a successful read.


Lalitha (falcon_) | 24 comments I read this book only a couple of weeks back and my edition had a mere 130 pages. It was a good read, fresh in my mind as well. I look forward to discussing the book.


message 4: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9312 comments Mod
Bob wrote: "First I owe everyone an apology. While I think this is going to be a great read, I failed to properly qualify it during nominations. Usually I check the first page of available editions to see if t..."

We are all human, Bob. It will be fine.


Rosemarie | 1548 comments I have been looking forward to reading this book, so I am glad we are reading it as a group.


Candi (candih) | 743 comments I read this one early July, as it was on my kindle and I needed a good book to read on a road trip. I loved it. It doesn't feel very long, so the page count shouldn't deter anyone. It's a bit different from Wharton's New York novels, but equally engaging. I will join in the discussion once folks get started :)


Kathleen | 3692 comments Your conscientiousness is commendable, Bob, but I'm very glad this made it through! I've been wanting to read this for years now--hope to start soon.


Terris | 2381 comments Did we not read this one before? I read it in November of 2016 & my note says I read it for Goodreads. Anyway, I liked it and am glad to read Edith Wharton anytime! Enjoy :)


Matt (mmullerm) | 770 comments In case anyone is interested, I found Summer by Edith Wharton on Librivox (free audiobooks). The narrator is Elizabeth Klett who is one of my favorite readers. Edith Wharton is one of my fav authors so I’m very thankful this is the short read. Looking forward to it!


message 10: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bob | 4825 comments Mod
Matt I’m not sure that my error wasn’t motivated by a subconscious desire to see Wharton win, she is one of my favorites too.


message 11: by Cindy (last edited Aug 02, 2018 03:24PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cindy  | 58 comments I was surprised that I found my review on Goodreads. The date is September 2016. I read it again in late July. I forgot how it ended. I enjoyed it more on the second read. It is an awesome story that pulls you in. I almost read the whole thing in one night.


Darren (dazburns) | 1846 comments re length - I'm sure most people will be perfectly happy with this as the vast majority of the 94 people who voted for it must have known what they were voting for?
(I did: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...) ;o)


message 13: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3094 comments I finished this and absolutely loved Wharton's writing. I loved her writing in the books of hers I've read ( The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth), but this was more lyrical. I guess short stories and novella's lend themselves more easily to a more poetic style.

I was set to give this 5+ stars with the first half, but the ending bothered me a little bit so I rated it 4.

I don't want to talk about the ending until people have had a chance to read it.

I love the way her romances are always morally complicated. She is great at showing non judgmental consequences for improper behavior. She has respect for her characters that have moral failings. I love that.

Urgh, the more I think about it, it was a great ending. I may have to up it to 5 stars! Dang you Edith!


message 14: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bob | 4825 comments Mod
I hope to finish this tonight and I agree with Sue, the writing is excellent.


message 15: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bob | 4825 comments Mod
“Since the fanciful vision of the future that had flitted through her imagination at their first meeting she had hardly ever thought of his marrying her. She had not had to put the thought from her mind; it had not been there. If ever she looked ahead she felt instinctively that the gulf between them was too deep, and that the bridge their passion had flung across it was as insubstantial as a rainbow. But she seldom looked ahead; each day was so rich that it absorbed her....”
― Edith Wharton, Summer

A bridge as insubstantial as a rainbow, you gota love that.


Candi (candih) | 743 comments Sue, I love Wharton for the same reason you have stated perfectly:

"I love the way her romances are always morally complicated. She is great at showing non judgmental consequences for improper behavior. She has respect for her characters that have moral failings. I love that."


Candi (candih) | 743 comments Bob, that quote was one that I marked as well.

I ended up giving the book 5 stars. I also loved a little change in the setting from Wharton's usual. The more rural, New England descriptions were quite lovely.


message 18: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3094 comments Thanks Candi. It's going to be 5 for me too when I do my review. Great point about the setting. It is a departure. I could picture everything so clearly that I feel like I've been there. I loved the symbolism of the storm cloud over the mountain. She described that so well.


message 19: by Sue (last edited Aug 04, 2018 09:59AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3094 comments I markes that quote too Bob. She is so good!


Michele (micheleevansito) | 127 comments I got a hold of a kindle copy and will be jumping in for this read this month.


message 21: by Newly (new)

Newly Wardell | 180 comments Elizabeth Klett is an amazing reader!


siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2011 comments what a story!My first time reading Wharton.I can understand why you all love her writing so much.Its very gripping..what a life Charity had!yet I feel for Mr.Royall too.Harney ,not so much..he needs a good slap for using the girl..she may have walked into it with her eyes open..still she was young...very sad and lonely..she makes you feel the sadness/aloneness/desperation..the need for a person in your life who sees you..


message 23: by Bob, Short Story Classics (last edited Aug 06, 2018 09:21AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bob | 4825 comments Mod
This reads like real life, with genuine characters and circumstances. Given different forks in the road the story could have taken, it could have ended differently. As sad as some people will think the ending is, could Charity have had an alternative ending? Would it have been better?


siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2011 comments if she was able to live independently..if only she was more educated and able to earn a living for her baby and herself..she could have moved from the town..
But then that would be a little bit different than her situation of no one to turn to / nothing to fall back on..


message 25: by Matt (new) - rated it 2 stars

Matt (mmullerm) | 770 comments I love Edith Wharton, but just couldn’t get into this one for some reason. Unfortunately, it just didn’t grab me at all. Wharton’s setting is excellent, but I didn’t connect to the characters or the plot.

The group discussion thread has been great and am glad to see folks enjoying it. Edith Wharton is one of the best. Maybe I’ll try this story again sometime soon.


Eileen | 18 comments I liked Summer and it inspired me to read another short story of hers that I enioyed even more called The Marne.


Michele (micheleevansito) | 127 comments Finished it. Sorry, not my favorite by Wharton. But the descriptions in it are lush and you feel like you are there.


Lalitha (falcon_) | 24 comments I really liked the book but not as much as her other works....but the ending....


message 29: by Kathleen (last edited Aug 11, 2018 07:03PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathleen | 3692 comments Candi wrote: "Sue, I love Wharton for the same reason you have stated perfectly:

"I love the way her romances are always morally complicated. She is great at showing non judgmental consequences for improper be..."


Yes! She does this so well. I love what you said about the ending, Sue. I'm looking forward to talking about it too ...


Kathleen | 3692 comments Matt wrote: "I love Edith Wharton, but just couldn’t get into this one for some reason. Unfortunately, it just didn’t grab me at all. Wharton’s setting is excellent, but I didn’t connect to the characters or th..."

Matt, I can relate to your feelings. I felt like this about The Custom of the Country and The House of Mirth. I think it has to be the right time. Glad to hear you'll give it another try in the future!


message 31: by Ira (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ira Bauman | 3 comments I thought that the story was a different view of the nature - nurture subject. In most treatments of this, the subject is observed as an unknowing participant and the reader must draw his or her own conclusions as to which is more potent. In Summer, Charity herself, is confronted by both forces and must decide which one is to guide her future.


Kaylee (kaylee66) | 50 comments I just finished this. It took me longer to get through it than I expected. I thought the first half was okay (kind of slow for me), but somewhere in the second half I started liking it more and more, and I was very happy with the ending.


Rosemarie | 1548 comments I just finished this and was impressed by the writing. I grew up in a very small town where nothing much happened, so in that respect I can relate to Charity.
Wharton is very good at describing how summer feels, and how it affects Charity.
The scenes in the winter are just the opposite to the lushness of summer.
I think the ending is a good ending for this book. Charity has grown up in the course of the book and is less self-centred, and maybe happier.


Kathleen | 3692 comments I agree with you Kaylee and Rosemarie, and think the ending was just right for the story.

And good point, Rosemarie, about how well Wharton distinguishes the seasons. Have you read Ethan Frome? Her descriptions of winter and weather really stand out in that one.


Rosemarie | 1548 comments I read Ethan Frome in January and was entranced by her writing, even though it was such a sad story. Summer is a more positive forward looking story, whereas winter dealt with an old story which affected the present.


message 36: by Suki (last edited Jun 30, 2019 01:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 76 comments I liked this story a lot, but I definitely prefer Wharton's New York stories. I felt sorry for Charity because I know the feeling of growing up in a small town and the desperation of wanting to get away. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about Mr Royall, but I'm pretty sure that Charity and her child will have a better life with him than she would have had with Harney.

My edition of the book, Summer How I Hate Everything! by Edith Wharton , has a quote from an Edna St Vincent Millay poem that suits Charity and Harney's relationship perfectly:
"I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year."


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