One of America's first novels to deal frankly with a young woman's sexual awakening, Summer shocked readers with its forthright exploration of desire and sexuality when it was first published in 1917. Set in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, it tells the story of Charity Royall, a young New England woman of humble origins who meets and falls in love with the worldly Lucius Harney, an architect from the city. In evocative and descriptive prose, Edith Wharton conveys the ecstasy of Charity's first experience in sexual and romantic love, and pulls her heroine through the throes of loving a man who ultimately cannot choose her. Wharton's tale elicits the passion and despair of all great but ill-fated love affairs and enthralls the contemporary audience with its pathos just as it did nearly one hundred years ago.
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by Edith Wharton
"As a summer full of romance draws to a close, a young woman discovers the heartbreak that autumn ushers in. Lorna Raver's narration masterfully tells the story of the rebellious but genuine Charity Royall. Raver's reading is thoughtful, capturing the warm emotions of the heroine while keeping with the slower pace of Wharton's depiction of the setting. In SUMMER, Wharton diverges from her usual focus on the New York elite, instead setting the story in rural New England. Raver makes the inhabitants of the small town come alive by using the rural dialects in her vocal characterizations. Her attention to dialect and tone absorbs the elements of Wharton's novel that make it authentically American. D.M.W. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine"
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