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Summer

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One of America's first novels to deal frankly with a young woman's sexual awakening, Summer shocked readers with its forthright exploration of desire and sexuality when it was first published in 1917. Set in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, it tells the story of Charity Royall, a young New England woman of humble origins who meets and falls in love with the worldly Lucius Harney, an architect from the city. In evocative and descriptive prose, Edith Wharton conveys the ecstasy of Charity's first experience in sexual and romantic love, and pulls her heroine through the throes of loving a man who ultimately cannot choose her. Wharton's tale elicits the passion and despair of all great but ill-fated love affairs and enthralls the contemporary audience with its pathos just as it did nearly one hundred years ago.
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