Summary

This spare, mesmerizing novel is Edith Wharton's money-can't-buy-happiness tale. Young Stephen Glennard, a lawyer, is poor, but he has an unanticipated gambling chip: a collection of love letters from a scorned, but now famous, lover, the distinguished novelist Margaret Aubyn. To raise money for his forthcoming wedding to another woman, Stephen stoops to selling the letters. His decision brings him wealth and admission to society, but a mystery contained in the missives comes back to haunt him, and it may take the madness of guilt to remind Stephen that he does, after all, have a conscience. Betrayal, greed, and consequences faced make this sly, masterful story a deft social and psychological portrait that stands with Wharton's best.
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(P)1997 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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5 out of 5 stars
By Kenneth on 06-02-09

A lesser known Wharton novel, but a good one

This novella by the writer who is best known for "Ethan Frome" is less bleak than the more famous work, and equally subtle. Wharton likes to place her characters into excruciating dilemmas, in which the reader, even as she knows that the decision the character is making is a mistake, nevertheless empathizes with the character and feels that she might very well have made the same choice. Unfortunately, the ultimate consequences of these moral errors is usually disastrous for the character involved, though in this novel, the consequences are more mitigated than in "Ethan Frome". Another fine reading from Blackstone Audiobooks.

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