Narrated By: Grace Conlin
Duration: 5 hours and 33 minutes
What to expect
Wharton's most erotic and lyrical novel, Summer explores a daring theme for 1917: a woman's awakening to her sexuality. Eighteen-year-old Charity Royall lives in the small town of North Dormer, ignorant of desire until the arrival of architect Lucius Harney. Independent yet kept from love until now by society's expectations, Charity finds herself wrapped up in a love affair with Harney. Like the succulent summer landscape in the Berkshires around them, Charity's romance is lush and picturesque, but its consequences are harsh and real.
Praised for its realism and candor by such writers as Joseph Conrad and Henry James and compared to Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Summer was one of Wharton's personal favorites of all her novels and remains as fresh and relevant today as when it was first written.
Classic fiction, Fiction: general and literary
Listen to a sample
“Breaks, or stretches, many conventions of women’s romantic love stories and in the process creates a new picture of female sexuality…A clamorous and ecstatic affirmation of the joy of sexual love no matter what it costs.”
“Reader Grace Conlin distinguishes both men’s and women’s voices easily, using hushed, intimate tones to convey the sweetness of the romance. Yet an ephemeral quality in her delivery casts a shadow of reality on the story and reminds the listener that seasons change.”
“Wharton’s descriptive powers are superb, and Grace Conlin’s narration is exquisite. Highly recommended.”