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I have always found the work of Edith Wharton deeply compelling, because I empathize so strongly with the characters and even as I watch them make disastrous mistakes, I can't help wishing there was some way they could avoid the inevitable tragic consequences of their mistakes. This was so with Ethan Frome and The House of Mirth, and it is equally so of The Reef. However, this book ends with an odd and surprising conclusion that to my mind was ambiguous. I felt this detracted from what was otherwise a complex and powerful story.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I haven't read them all, but I've read many and for me, this is her very best. The characters are fascinating. The hero is a dolt, but Wharton makes him fascinating in his doltishness. The heroine was simply born at the wrong time, but she's touching and her fate involves you. Great narrator!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful