The Reef (2020)

The Reef Edith Wharton was at the height of her enormous literary powers when she published The Reef in and everything about this novel suggests a mastery so complete that it can achieve nothing higher T
  • Title: The Reef
  • Author: Edith Wharton
  • ISBN: 9781426468919
  • Page: 369
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Reef
    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 AnEdith 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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      Published :2019-03-23T10:07:54+00:00

    One Reply to “The Reef”

    1. In every nerve and vein she was conscious of that equipoise of bliss which the fearful human heart scarce dares acknowledge She was not used to strong or full emotions but she had always known that she should not be afraid of them She was not afraid now but she felt a deep inward stillness I ve always really liked this photo of Edith Wharton.No one was surprised than George Darrow when the girl he was wooing married Fraser Leath He may have dallied a bit He may have flirted with other girls a b [...]

    2. This is Wharton s fifth novel Published in 1912, it is considered, together with the previous Ethan Frome and the subsequent The Custom of the Country, as partly autobiographical Not so much in deeds as in spirit As I know very little about her life, I cannot agree nor disagree with this Rather than engage in searching for the parallels between real life and its representation through a literary disguise, I was interested in the dynamics of the plot, since it becomes the dynamics of human relat [...]

    3. Wharton doing what she does so well, exploring the human condition and how the classes interact with one another when the artificial lines collapse I loved this complex story that asked so many moving, and always pertinent, questions A gentleman has a brief encounter with a girl who does not rise to his level, he is motivated by good intentions, but things become much complicated than he expects When she resurfaces in his life, will he have to pay too high a price for his mistake Or, will she T [...]

    4. Morty, Edie said, if you can do that again, I ll get naked What was EWs lover Morton Fullerton like In hermost autobiographical novel he appears as GeorgeDarrow, an aspiring diplomat who has a casual flingwith a young American woman while waiting for thewidowed Anna Leath EW to decide if she wants to marry him The ambivalent Anna lives behind a socialmask outside of Paris but she can t shake off her OldeNew York upbringing Her controlling nature is disturbedby his sexuality Henry James, who had [...]

    5. Young diplomat George Darrow is on his way to meet Anna Leath, an old girlfriend who is now a widow with a young daughter and a grown stepson When Anna abruptly postpones their rendezvous without explanation, Darrow concludes that she is no longer interested in him A chance meeting with Sophy Viner leads to their brief affair Unfortunately, the lives of Darrow, Anna, Sophy and Anna s stepson Owen become linked and the extremely discreet sexual relationship between Darrow and Sophy complicates th [...]

    6. This is supposed to be Wharton s Jamesian book.whatever that means Probably, it s the convoluted plotting in which all is NOT revealed until the endd then, we Dear Readers are treated to the weirdest ending in years Anna, major female protagonist, visits the blowsy sister of the woman her fiance has known in the biblical sense Ensconced in a huge pink bed with those annoying barky dogs around her, this parody of who knows what is the last vision Wharton paints Anna has been struggling with her l [...]

    7. I love Edith Wharton s New York novels, and I teach Ethan Frome, so I was delighted to recently come across a book of hers I d never heard of, The Reef It is neither a New York novel nor a New England one, like Frome and its counterpart Summer, though one of The Reef s main characters, Sophy Viner, reminds one of Summer s heroine After I finished the novel, I was nonplussed what had just happened so I did a little research I found it is considered Wharton s most Jamesian novel, and that it was H [...]

    8. Edith Wharton s The Reef was written in 1912 when she was essentially at her very best as a novelist, and I think her powers are quite evident in this engaging tale Also, this is a very theatrical story that I personally think would lend itself very well to a stage adaptation The book could just as easily have been entitled, The Chateau, as basically three quarters of the novel takes place within the confines of Mrs Anna Leath s French estate, Givre.This is the story of romantic relationships, d [...]

    9. At the top of the box to write a review is the question What did you think At some point during my reading of any book, phrases start running through my head as to what I do think about what I m reading I laughed at myself in this one The question in school was always and what do you think will happen next I was so poor at this type of prognostication that I rarely even try, but I did try in this one My surmises were wrong And then they were right And then they were wrong again Maybe you will do [...]

    10. The Reef was beautifully written, subtle and tense We have for our story a simple drama between two sets of lovers But the undercurrents of distrust, passion, secrets, loyalties and lies pull the story along inexorably.Darrow, on his way to propose to the woman he has been courting, encounters an appealing young woman very unlike most women he knows Sophy is direct, unabashed, self sufficient and outspoken, but also very vulnerable He takes her under his wing, so to speak, and introduces her to [...]

    11. The Reef, Edith Wharton s eighth novel and published in 1912, is a book that couldn t possibly have been written today Its subject matter is so dated that I found myself quite exasperated with its central character, Anna Leath because I cannot imagine any contemporary 30 something woman getting so worked up about a suitor s past experience However, despite the disproportionate angst that forms the novel s raison d tre, The Reef is a fascinating exploration of trust how easy it is to lose, and ho [...]

    12. It has been a while since I read anything by Wharton, but the elegance and perceptiveness of her writing immediately became familiar There are 4 main characters who Wharton portrays through minute observations of their automatic responses physical gestures, changes in their physiognomy blushing, paling , tone of voice, physical position in a room,the weather sunlight as reflection of interior moods, etc This is finest example of an author showing not explaining, and leaving readers to draw their [...]

    13. This is one of Wharton s best, tightly plotted, excellent characterization, and extremely painful emotional impact Louis Auchincloss, who wrote the introduction to my edition, spectacularly misreads nearly everything about the novel His statement that Wharton s hero is Darrow is belied by Wharton s obvious disgust with him for most of the work Darrow, after all, lies and otherwise does his best to avoid responsibility for the lives he has ruined by his thoughtless actions at the beginning of the [...]

    14. I love Edith Wharton, but this book was terrible I was curious as to why it could be so bad, so I read a bit about it She wrote it during a time when she was very unhappy in her marriage The character Anna is said to be based on the author, and Sophy based on her alter ego That being said, the writing was overdone with too many adjectives, too much whining, not enough plot It was sooooo drawn out, I just couldn t wait for it to end to see what would happen to these miserable characters This brin [...]

    15. So lets explore issues like unfaithfulness in relationships and lets discuss how past actions can affect our current lives and how our actions sometimes affect others or lets just read The Reef by Edith WhartonThe widowed Anna Leath meets her old flame George Darrow who intends to marry her, but what she doesn t know is that George met her daughter s governess and had a fling with her, and to complicate it a whole lot this governess Sophie, should be marrying her stepson, etc, etcI wont give aw [...]

    16. On audiobook There s a paradox that is still alive and well today in some circles, and I found it infuriating in this book, which seems to me, although the author didn t intend it that way, like a long, subtly written argument in favor of human beings accepting their sexual nature Here s the paradox sex isn t supposed to matter So when you re going to get married, you don t take your intended for a test drive, because you re really in love, and it s just sex But then, if someone has sex with som [...]

    17. With her customary elegant, understated prose, Wharton demonstrates that, as much as relationships between the sexes have changed in a century, people continue to be the same.Sophy is not quite the same level of tragedy as Wharton s better known Lily Bart, but there s some similarities here Wharton was acutely aware of the lack of options available to a gently reared woman without a family to protect her Anna, on the other hand, shows the ignorance that protection fosters It s a Wharton book, so [...]

    18. The Reef is possibly one of Edith Wharton s lesser known novels, but according to Anita Brookner in her introduction to my Penguin Twentieth Century Classics edition was written during her most brilliantly creative period In 1910 Edith Wharton s affair with journalist Morton Fullerton had ended, and it would appear that he is present here, in some respect at least, in the character of George Darrow The Reef is apparently the novel of Wharton s most admired by Henry James, and is said to be the m [...]

    19. Like many other reviewers, I found the ending disconcertingly abrupt, largely because I felt so invested in the characters No one ends up happy, but that s what lying and deception do for you The unravelling is beautifully done, showing not telling, and she beats Henry James at his own game by writing in a less convoluted style than even his middle works For me, as good as if not better the The Age of Innocence, and certainly better the The House of Mirth.

    20. A very interesting and thought provoking, and sometimes just plain provoking, story Wharton seems to be warning readers to beware what they wish for, their wish may be granted Anna Leath senses she has been missing out on life , that others experience things fully than she has, and she longs to feel things in a deeper way She gets her wish with a vengeance as she takes up with an old friend, George Darrow, when they meet again after a long gap of years He and Anna had been attracted to each oth [...]

    21. Ever since The Age of Innocence, I ve been looking for another book like it My hope is that it would come from Edith Whartonbut that has not happened I hated The House of Mirth talk about false advertising Summer is pretty good but depressing This book is the only one that has come somewhat close, where I felt the connection to the characters However, there were all the same problems with all of Edith Wharton s novels Characters who can t make up their mind about a damn thing Flippity floppity A [...]

    22. The Reef is a fascinating character study where the tension comes from the development of an impossible situation George Darrow comes to France to be with the woman he has loved for years and intends to marry, Anna Leith When he arrives, he is discovers that an old lover of his, Sophy Viner, is the governess to Anna s daughter, as well as the betrothed of Anna s stepson and therein lies the impossibility The past affair between Sophy and George begins to be an unbearably heavy and unwieldy weigh [...]

    23. A heartbroken Anna asks her boyfriend, How can there be a best for you that s made of someone else s worst Anna also says to a young floozie, You d no right to let Owen love you Anna s boyfriend, George Darrow The Darrow she worshiped was inseparable from the Darrow she abhorred Promiscuity Anna cannot tolerate thinking about such things, such adventures She cannot imagine how anyone could pass out of them without visible traces of their havoc aaaahhh ermagherd They rubbed their private parts t [...]

    24. I think this story is the Lancelot, Guinevere, Arthur story Darrow is Lancelot, Sophie is Guinevere and Anna is Arthur in the sense of their moral and psychological states, but also in action, because Darrow brings Sophie to Anna and on the way finds himself attracted to her But it is much subtle than the ancient story because the characters often don t say what they really feel and so the story is complicated And it is also complicated by the fact of a fourth character, Owen, who is both Anna [...]

    25. Anna Leath viene da un matrimonio freddo ed incarna i canoni altrettanto aridi di una rigida educazione impartita sin dall infanzia Questo almeno fino a quando non rivede George Darrow, un a passato Ma poi insorge la giovane Sophy Viner, che in netta contrapposizione con Anne coinvolge tutto ci che caldo candore, e innocente passione Per questo triangolo, che tutto meno che m nage per ovvi motivi, la scogliera del titolo l ostacolo scoglio che impervio si frappone tra la felicit dei tre, archeti [...]

    26. If you re looking for a real ending, this is not the book for you But I think it works You end up feeling the same conflict as Anna Leath Darrow is an interesting character in that he discloses information when necessary and with sincere regrets when appropriate, but he also withholds information with a frank belief that it s best left so At one point Anna asks to know everything about an affair, but he turns her down with the statement that it would only cause her pain and further conflict And [...]

    27. Wharton again analyzes the plight of upper class women in the early 1900s, when social s were changing quickly The two principal women in this novel Anna, the intended bride of George Darrow, and Sophy, the younger girl he had a brief fling with in Paris before he became serious with Anna exert a lot of tears and hand wringing over what would be a non issue these days a brief sexual tryst that occurred well before any betrothal The whole thing comes across soap opera ish than some of Wharton s [...]

    28. Edith Wharton is amazing And I only had to look up about 65 words while reading this one, which is a respectable number considering how impressive her literary vocabulary is From her immaculate characterizations of George Darrow, Anna Leith and Sophy Viner to the subtle descriptions of both the hotel where the action occurs and Givr , this book is a masterpiece from start to finish.I wish I could have finished it somewhat quicker than in seven weeks.But so it goes The House of Mirth is still my [...]

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