Novellas in November Update #1: Summer, The Pearl, The Night Before Christmas, and Bonjour Tristesse
Mini reviews for mini novels! See the start up post on Another Book Blog, and my introductory post here.
My rating: 5/5 stars
A new Englander of humble origins, Charity Royall is swept into a torrid love affair with an artistically inclined young man from New York City, but her dreams of a future with him are thwarted.
I started reading Summer at the end of October so I could squeeze one last regular classic in before Novellas in November kicked off. I knew nothing about it except it was free on my Kobo. I quickly found out it was a novella. Score! Oh and it’s supposedly an erotic novella. Double score. And yeah, it was pretty hot! I mean, check out this filth:
All this bubbling of sap and slipping of sheaths and bursting of calyxes was carried to her on mingled currents of fragrance.
Bubbling sap indeed. And this:
A clumsy band and button fastened her unbleached night-gown about the throat. She undid it, freed her thin shoulders, and saw herself a bride in low-necked satin, walking down an aisle with Lucius Harney. He would kiss her as they left the church….She put down the candle and covered her face with her hands as if to imprison the kiss.
This book is part Tess of the D’Ubervilles, part VC Andrews’ Heaven and all kinds of awesome. Tess because of the pastoral and natural elements, and the fallen woman thing, and Heaven because our heroine comes from dirt poor, likely inbred mountain folk and you know what they say, you can take the girl off the mountain…
Charity is such an interesting heroine because she’s selfish, flighty, and well, not that bright. Or at least not at all interested in intellectual pursuits. A realistic teenager, in other words. I’m always surprised by a non-bookish hero, and think that it must be difficult for a writer to get into that head space. Wharton nails it. This book was a delight and my I think it just knocked House of Mirth out of my “favourite Wharton” spot.
Here’s a lovely, more detailed review, if I haven’t convinced you to pick this up. Continue reading