Summer by Edith Wharton This novel set in the mid second decade of the 20th century focuses on Charity Royall and hersubsequent awakening in many aspects. From the quiet and reserved girl at the start of the novel, Rachel develops to the point whereby she is sexually awakened and is conscious about all the happenings surrounding her. In chapter 1, we are introduced to Charity as she is setting off to her work at the local library. It is at this point that she notices a stranger, Lucius Harney. She is attracted to the guy instantly, and even after he leaves, she cannot forget about him. After this encounter, she begins to reflect about her life in the small town of North Dormer. She yearns to leave this life and move on to the town. As we read the novel further, we learn that Harney and Charity start getting closer, which culminates in them having a relationship. Charity changes up to the point that she does not care what the locals think about her relationship with Harney (Wharton 27).
Therefore, the author has developed charity from the shy and reserved girl in the local setting to a mature girl who is aware of her sexuality. With time also, she yearns to leave the local life in search of better opportunities away from the area. The plot of the novel is simple, but the author has managed to develop the main characters well and has managed to address the thematic concerns. This is a book worth reading.
Wharton, Edith. Summer: A Novel (1917). Montana: Kessinger Publishing, 2010.