Wharton’s Summer

“The haze of the morning had become a sort of clear tremour over everything, like the colourless vibration about a flame; and the opulent landscape seemed to droop under it.”

The heat is rising in Charity Royall’s life just as in this summer day. Edith Wharton’s 1917 novel follows a young girl’s romance amidst the backdrop of the lush New England landscape in summertime. I like Wharton’s use of words such as haze and tremour which help us see the heat. Both nature and the heat are elements which enhance this story of first love. If you’re in Massachusetts, you can visit Wharton’s home The Mount Estate & Gardens to see how passionate she was about landscape design.

I’m only half way through and am worried the flame might burn too hot for Charity! Better go make iced tea so we can stay cooler than Wharton’s heroine in the heat of this afternoon.


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