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Summer Audio Download – Unabridged

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio Download, Unabridged, 9 Jun 2004
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This is such a well-told story that I am awed at Wharton's skill. It exactly depicts that feeling of a teenager breaking out from their home life and beginning to experience the world on their own terms without the mediation of parents or teachers. Charity's wonderful summer of discovery has moments of real magic, as she explores a world that seems shiny and new and fresh to her inexperienced eyes and she also finds a boy to share it with. But experience can be bitter as well as magical and she also finds out some things that change her view of herself and the world. The reality of life for girls in the latter 19th century was less than idyllic and Charity in the end discovers what she has to do to compromise and survive (unlike some of Wharton's heroines, who never figure this out).

If you have ever had a marvellous summer of discovery, or the memories of a gap year, or first year at university, you will surely recognise the emotion that Charity experiences, breaking out of her small world to discover something beyond what she had known before.
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By Boof VINE VOICE on 1 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's some book that make you dislike a character but yet fall for her over time, that can make you never want to live in a forgotten little place like that while all the time making you love to feel the sun on your face, marvel at the butterflies and smell the flowers on the mountain. Very clever.

This is the story of Charity Royall, a young, bored girl in a backwater town. When a stranger arrives, things start to get more interesting for her. I don't want to write any more than that for fear of spoiling the book, but sufice to say there are some surprises, some home-truths and some pretty tough times in store.

I really liked this book; Wharton delivers some wonderful prose that draws you in to this little world.
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Format: Paperback
Written in 1917, Summer is Wharton's most explicitly sexual novel, tracing the awakening of Charity Royall to the sweetness of love and its power. Charity was born on "the mountain," a place of poverty and degradation, and given over to Lawyer Royall and his wife, residents of the town of North Dormer, to bring up. When his wife dies, Lawyer Royall is hard pressed to deal with this child, choosing to ignore her most of the time, and bringing her up with little feeling of warmth of affection.

Anxious to have some independence so that she can escape, at some point, from the closed society of the village, Charity becomes the town librarian, a part-time job which gives her a small amount of her own money. There she encounters Lucius Harney, the nephew of one of the town's leading citizens, an architect studying some of the old houses in the area. His interest in Charity soon develops into affection and then passion, and the two become lovers, a relationship which quickly develops complications--Charity is starved for affection and yearns to escape the village, while Harney, educated but personally weak, can already come and go as he pleases.

Wharton uses the seasons symbolically to illustrate the development of the relationship between Charity Royall and Lucius Harney from the earliest stirrings of their interest when they meet in early June to the full passion of their love in mid-August. Fall brings reality to Charity, and winter freezes her soul. Throughout the novel references are made to the mountain where Charity was born and to the ignorant people who live there without hope of improving their lives. Charity's own return to visit to her family shows her the desperation of their lives, and her need to grasp whatever escape route is available to her.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Like the two reviewers before me, this was the first Edith Wharton novel I have read. It is also my first KIndle book - so I thought I should mark the occasion by writing my first review!
I found the writing beautiful and poetic. I was very much reminded of Tess of the D'Ubervilles and also Mill on the Floss. The whole situation especially towards the end seems so desperate and loaded against poor Charity who, having come down from the mountain, seems to have had her fate predetermined. However, being an optimist, I like to think that the relationship with Mr Royall will blossom and life for Charity takes a turn for the better.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book, Edith Wharton is an amazing storyteller and this book is no exception. The story itself is gripping but it's also the way that Edith describes the surroundings that really makes this book come alive. It's one of my all-time favourite books.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Edith Wharton's superb and evocative prose, excellent characterisation, and generally insightful writing shine through in this rather short novel focusing on a young woman's relationship with her guardian and a young man visiting the area. Not her finest (which in my view is "The House of Mirth"), but still thoroughly deserving of a 5-star rating. Although the story is itself engaging, recommend reading it just to appreciate Wharton's skill as a writer.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am still listening to this CD, and reading the book at the same time. I like the reader, Lorna Raver, very much. The atmosphere reminds me of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, although there's no similarity in the characters, so the book transports me back to those days when most young girls' literature came from North America ('Girl of the Limberlost', the Anne books, etc.)
The heroine, the fierce Charity Royall, is in the tradition even if she hasn't read very much. For this is the story of a Librarian in a one-horse town who doesn't know her books, except for 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' and Longfellow, which are the only ones anyone asks for.
Anyone, that is, except a fresh good-looking young man who has come to North Dormer from the city. "Have you a card catalogue?" he asks. A WHAT ? she retorts.
There are some amusing moments, but one feels it is building up to a certain amount of turmoil, and it would be marvellous to listen to this while driving on a long, lonely journey.
I haven't seen the ending, but am very engaged by the way the story is shaping
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