Book - 1998
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Summer, Edith Wharton wrote to Gaillard Lapsley, "is known to its author and her familars as the Hot Ethan." One of the first American novels to deal frankly with a young woman's sexual awakening, it was a publishing sensation when it appeared in 1917, praised by Joseph Conrad, Howard Sturgis, and Percy Lubbock, and favorably compared to Madame Bovary. Like its predecessor, Ethan Frome, it is set in the Berkshires, but the season is summer and the story is that of Charity Royall, a New Englander of humble origins -- passionate, forthright, and proud -- and her torrid affair with Lucius Harney, an artistically inclined young man from the city. A novel that "breaks, or stretches, many conventions of women's romantic love stories and in the process creates a new picture of female sexuality," as Marilyn French writes in her introduction, Summer is "a clamorous and ecstatic affirmation of the joy of sexual love no matter what it costs." Bold in conception, rich in imagery, and provocative by implication, it was one of Edith Wharton's personal favorites, and stands as one of her greatest novelistic achievements.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 1998, c1917
Edition: 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction ed. --
ISBN: 9780684842585
Branch Call Number: FIC/WHA 4565fi 1


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Aug 03, 2015

What could be better for a summer read, than "Summer." As late spring passes into summer and fall, a young woman has her first - and probably only - romantic encounter. The description is lush (too much for some) and delicate. The character of Charity is wonderfully delineated. Only problem: The relationship with her guardian is a bit difficult to swallow. He has essentially been acting as her parent, so I don't quite get how he could become a legitimate marriage contender.


Add a Summary

ArapahoeSusanW Oct 06, 2016

If you read one Edith Wharton novel, (and you should!) this is the one to pick. A surprisingly modern themed coming of age story set in small town New England. Charity Royal is one of the most intriguing heroines in modern fiction.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top