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The Reef

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Hardcover published by Everyman's Library (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Edith Wharton was at the height of her enormous literary powers when she published The Reef in 1912, and everything about this novel suggests a mastery so complete that it can achieve nothing higher. The plot, which tells of the drastic effects of a casual sexual betrayal on the lives of four Americans in France, is expertly turned, suspenseful, continually compelling. An assured, unhurried dramatic instinct governs the great moments of confrontation and revelation. The central characters, two of whom are innocents and two of whom are burdened by experience and tinged with desperation, are perfectly delineated: their relationships to one another are constructed with a classical feeling for harmony, proportion, and balance. And the entire novel is imbued with a clear-eyed wisdom about both the possibilities and the limitations of human love. Wharton would go on to write splendid books after completing The Reef, but nowhere does she display a finer command of her art than she does here.
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(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Edith Wharton was at the height of her enormous literary powers when she published The Reef in 1912, and everything about this novel suggests a mastery so complete that it can achieve nothing higher. The plot, which tells of the drastic effects of a casual sexual betrayal on the lives of four Americans in France, is expertly turned, suspenseful, continually compelling. An assured, unhurried dramatic instinct governs the great moments of confrontation and revelation. The central characters, two of whom are innocents and two of whom are burdened by experience and tinged with desperation, are perfectly delineated: their relationships to one another are constructed with a classical feeling for harmony, proportion, and balance. And the entire novel is imbued with a clear-eyed wisdom about both the possibilities and the limitations of human love. Wharton would go on to write splendid books after completing The Reef, but nowhere does she display a finer command of her art than she does here.
Product Details
Hardcover
Published: July 15, 1996
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Everyman's Library
ISBN: 9780679447245
Other books byEdith Wharton
  • The House of Mirth

    The House of Mirth
    ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP An incisive portrait of New York high society and the somber economics of marriage during the late nineteenth century, Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth tells the story of beguiling socialite Lily Bart’s ill-fated attempt to find happiness. THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES: • A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information • A chronology of the author’s life and work • A timeline of significant events that provides the book’s historical context • An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader’s own interpretations • Detailed explanatory notes • Critical analysis and modern perspectives on the work • Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction • A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader’s experience Simon & Schuster Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world’s finest books to their full potential.

    Summer

    Summer
    One of the first novels to deal honestly with a woman's sexual awakening,Summercreated a sensation upon its 1917 publication. The Pulitzer Prize–winning author ofEthan Fromeshattered the standards of conventional love stories with candor and realism. Nearly a century later, this tale remains fresh and relevant.

    The Custom of the Country

    The Custom of the Country
    Edith Wharton’s lacerating satire on marriage and materialism in turn-of-the-century New York features her most selfish, ruthless, and irresistibly outrageous female character.   Undine Spragg is an exquisitely beautiful but ferociously acquisitive young woman from the Midwest who comes to New York to seek her fortune. She achieves her social ambitions—but only at the highest cost to her family, her admirers, and her several husbands. Wharton lavished on Undine an imaginative energy that suggests she was as fascinated as she was appalled by the alluring monster she had created. It is the complexity of her attitude that makes The Custom of the Country—with its rich social and emotional detail and its headlong narrative power—one of the most fully realized and resonant of her works.

    The Glimpses Of The Moon

    The Glimpses Of The Moon
    Set in the 1920s, The Glimpses of the Moon details the romantic misadventures of Nick Lansing and Susy Branch, a couple with the right connections but not much in the way of funds. They devise a shrewd bargain: they'll marry and spend a year or so sponging off their wealthy friends, honeymooning in their mansions and villas. As Susy explains, "We should really, in a way, help more than hamper each other. We both know the ropes so well; what one of us didn't see the other might -- in the way of opportunities, I mean." The other part of the plan states that if either one of them meets someone who can advance them socially, they're each free to dissolve the marriage. How their plan unfolds is a comedy of eros that will charm all fans of Wharton's work.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • 'Unexpected obstacle. Please don't come till thirtieth. Anna'

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  • In an introduction to The Reef published some years ago, a critic suggested that Edith Wharton should have called the novel The Chateau because of its brilliant evocation of...

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  • As she opened it she heard her hostess crying after her: Jimmy! Do you hear me? Jimmy Brance!" and then, there being no response from the person summoned: "Do tell him he...

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  • The Reef deserves to be seen as one of Edith Wharton's finest novels, and Edith Wharton as one of America's finest novelists. (Introduction)

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