Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: The Reef by Edith Wharton


Happy Tuesday! Welcome to First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, where bloggers share a bit about a book they're reading or thinking of reading soon.

My selection is a book on my Classics Club list, The Reef by Edith Wharton, first published in 1912.   

The opening:

"UNEXPECTED OBSTACLE. Please don't come till thirtieth. Anna."

All the way from Charing Cross to Dover the train hammered the words of the telegram into George Darrow's ears, ringing every change of irony on its commonplace syllables: rattling them out like a discharge of musketry, letting them, one by one, drip slowing and coldly into his brain, or shaking, tossing, transposing them like the dice in some game of the gods of malice; and now, as he emerged from his compartment at the pier, and stood facing the wind-swept platform and the angry sea beyond, they leapt out at him as if from the crest of the waves, stung and blinded him with a fresh fury of derision."

From the back cover:

"A challenge to the moral climate of the day, The Reef follows the fancies of George Darrow, a young diplomat en route from London to France, intent on proposing to the widowed Anna Leath. Unsettled by Anna's reticence, Darrow drifts into an affair with Sophy Viner, a charmingly naive and impecunious young woman whose relations with Darrow and Anna's family threaten his prospects for success.

For its dramatic construction and acute insight into social mores and the mutifaceted problem of sexuality, The Reef stands as one of Edith Wharton's most daring works of fiction."

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

14 comments:

  1. Although I've read Edith Wharton in the past, I never came across this particular novel. I like the sound of it and will look to see if my library has a copy to borrow.

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  2. I love Edith Wharton's books but I haven't read this one! I will have to read it soon, it sounds very interesting.
    http://dualreads.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/tuesday-intros-and-teaser-tuesdays_8.html

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  3. I have yet to read Edith Wharton, but I do have The Age of Innocence on my Kindle. I must read it soon!

    Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “MY SALINGER YEAR”

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  4. I think I'd continue. I haven't read this one yet.

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  5. I love Edith, but have not read this one. I'd definitely keep going!

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  6. I need to get back into reading the classics. I haven't read anything by Wharton. I love the intro you shared.

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  7. Sometimes I have a hard time reading classics because of the formal, stilted writing style. However, if the story is good enough, I can get past that! This sounds like one I'd enjoy.
    My Tuesday post features Shadow of the Hawk.

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  8. I've never read this one, Monica; I'm going to have to look it up! I've read some of Wharton's work, and have heard great things about this one; I hope you enjoy it!

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  9. The Reef, in my humble opinion, has some of Wharton's best writing in it. Her prose is so lyrical and beautiful, even if the story isn't necessarily a happy one. (But then, which of Wharton's novels are?) I just love the way she writes. :)

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  10. Well this is a new E.W. title for me. This sounds good - I'd definitely read more. Thanks for joining us this week Monica.

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  11. Not really my genre, but I would give it a try.

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  12. I have some Edith Wharton on my kindle to read (another author I must really get around to reading) and I love the opening to this one. Thanks for sharing and visiting my Tuesday post.

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  13. Yeah, I would keep reading. I am reading Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope right now.

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