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1001 Monthly Group Read > September {2020} Discussion -- SUMMER by Edith Wharton

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Charity (charityross) Discussion time


Sean (fordest) | 986 comments Mod
This was my second ever Wharton. I had previously only read The Age of Innocence. I enjoyed this one more. But overall it was just okay.

The writing is still great. Very straight forward and easy to follow. And certainly very short.

I liked Charity. She was far from perfect. Even a little nasty sometimes. Her attitude toward Royall was pretty much justified however. I mean you will hear the word "incest" when you read reviews of this book. But I am not sure I would take it that far.

(view spoiler)

I think the most memorable part was when she went to the female doctor (both times). What a horrible person the doctor turned out to be right? Loved hating her.

A short novel that I am glad I read, but really I'm just glad I didn't invest a whole lot of time in it since I liked it ok, but didn't love it.


Angie | 129 comments No, I'm sorry, but I simply did NOT like Charity at all... she works in a library, but does not like books or reading...? Should have known then and there that she would be trouble...


Gayle | 34 comments This is my second Wharton as well. I read the Buccaneers some time ago and I enjoyed it more than Summer.
The unlikable characters were hard to empathize with although I enjoyed the writing style and descriptions.


Frances (francesperez) | 28 comments This is my first Edith Wharton, and I enjoyed it very much. Was Mr.Royall's character controversial when it was first published? And to this day? I'm looking forward to reading more of her works.


Daniel Clark I liked the symbolism of "the mountain", which is sort of depicted as a place of wild morals. We are told at the beginning of the tale that our main character, Charity, was rescued and brought "down off the mountain". During the story, she makes an ascent back onto the mountain (both literally and figuratively as she gets frisky with what's-his-name). She doesn't even know she again needs to be rescued, but Royall rescues her again and brings her "down off the mountain" a second time. She tries to figure her own self out by heading back up that mountain. But in the end, she is tamed, though her heart is wild.


Jennifer W | 230 comments I read it last year, so I'm fuzzy on some of the details, but this was my review from when I read it.

I can't quite figure this out. I feel icky. (view spoiler)Really, in the end, it boils down to the fact that, because she is a woman, she has very limited choices, and they all suck.


Frances (francesperez) | 28 comments Daniel wrote: "I liked the symbolism of "the mountain", which is sort of depicted as a place of wild morals. We are told at the beginning of the tale that our main character, Charity, was rescued and brought "dow..."

What wonderful insights, Daniel. I had similar thoughts. With all the symbolic references to the mountain, I would have thought that Wharton would have chosen a different title. But that would have been too much of a cliche?

And choosing to name it Summer instead? Was that her way of encapsulating the events to a specific time period? Or implying that the season was what influenced the young lovers to act the way they did?


Debra Schnitzer | 6 comments Frances wrote: "Daniel wrote: "I liked the symbolism of "the mountain", which is sort of depicted as a place of wild morals. We are told at the beginning of the tale that our main character, Charity, was rescued a..."

The title Summer reminded me of summer romances. They rarely work out. Also in one season Charity learned who she could trust. How many women running from one man who they don't trust into the arms of another man who they really shouldn't trust. Her actions remind me of a typical teenager acting out of emotion instead of her reason.


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