New York Stories, Vol. 1

Alison Larkin Presents. Dec. 2022. 7:29 hrs. ISBN 9798823431989. $34.95. F
Now available in audio, Wharton’s collection contains eight short stories and one bonus poem, originally published between 1880 and 1912. The lifestyle and mannerisms of New York’s early 20th-century aristocrats are richly brought to life by Wharton, who, born into old money, molded characters in the likeness of those she knew. Recurring themes include author struggles, the arts, and broken relationships. In “Full Circle,” Geoffrey Betton grapples with managing the stress brought on from the success of his first novel and the subsequent lack of success from his second. In “Expiation,” debut novelist Mrs. Fetherel frets about her novel being a failure until her uncle scandalizes it into success. Lost opportunity haunts Halston Merrick as he yearns for a romantic connection with his friend Paulina Trant in “The Long Run.” “The Reckoning” portrays the complexity of a failed marriage when Julia Westall’s second husband ends their marriage similarly to how she ended her marriage to her first husband. Exceptionally narrated by Carrington MacDuffie, who captures the tone and pacing of Wharton’s descriptive writing and brings out the poignancy of her memorable characters.
VERDICT Recommended for libraries refreshing their audio classics.
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