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Sanctuary | Edith Wharton
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Kate Orme is a young woman whose illusions of marital bliss are shattered when she comes face to face with the dark secret harbored by her fiance, the wealthy and deceptively ebullient Denis. Kate decides to go ahead and marry Denis, however, as a selfless gesture to protect any child he may conceive from inheriting their father's moral weakness. The couple does have a child, Dick, and in a marriage with a man that Kate has admittedly ceased to love, she transfers her original affections for Denis to their son. Denis dies suddenly and Kate is left to raise their young son. Knowing that Dick could have inherited the faults of his father, Kate anticipates a time when Dick's morality will be severely tested. That time comes years later when Dick, an eligible bachelor and aspiring professional, is faced with a dilemma that will affect the course of his life. With the precision, beauty, and sharp awareness of the cracks in upper-class New York society that made her one of the great writers of the twentieth century, Edith Wharton offers a subtle critique of the nature versus nurture debate that raged in the early 1900s. Sanctuary is a spare and moving investigation of the forces that impel human beings toward sin, self-doubt, and redemption.
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Sanctuary | Edith Wharton
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Out of the books we have read so far for #whartonbuddyread this was the most easily read and had the most likable characters. I am starting to see the Wharton is a bit of a formula writer - her characters all have a moral dilemma and question their decisions. 6 pt for any book #teamhendrix #scarathlon @StayCurious @Graywacke @Lcsmcat

BookishTrish There‘s a Wharton buddy read ?!?! 2mo
mdm139 @BookishTrish yes there is. If you follow the #whartonbuddyread you can sign up to be tagged. Our next book is The House of Mirth. First 8 chapters will be discussed on October 30. 2mo
BookishTrish @mdm139 on it, thanks! 2mo
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Sanctuary | Edith Wharton
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(I‘m out of picture ideas for this one, so my kindle library.)

Wharton‘s 3rd work of fiction, a novella from 1902, consists of two connected parts around Kate Peyton, née Orme. First a naive Kate discovers her fiancé has conned an inheritance and still marries him. In part 2 her son has a moral quandary. Kate is passionately well-meaning, morality driven and likable, but strained by circumstance, and ultimately humanly flawed.

Cathythoughts Great picture & summary … I loved Sanctuary.. food for thought , as always with this author 👍🏻💫 2mo
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Sanctuary | Edith Wharton
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Another one done in the #whartonbuddyread and I enjoyed this novella. Very strong emphasis on morality and consequences of decisions... There are no heroes here, only humans making choices.

Also using for #fourfoursin21 sanctuary prompt @Lauredhel

(this was another unphotogenic Gutenberg ebook so please enjoy a random pic of my cat charging in a sunbeam)

Graywacke Only humans - yes, that. Glad you enjoyed. 2mo
BiblioLitten Thank you for the picture 😍 1mo
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Sanctuary | Edith Wharton
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(5th Avenue 1903 - at 42nd street)

A complicated little novella. In part one Kate Orme discovers “life was honeycombed by a vast system of moral sewage.” In part two the now widowed Kate Peyton fights to protect her son‘s morality, at some cost. Either a nice or uncomfortable story, depending on your take, but regardless with memorable characters and, within the prose, dark revelations about life. Did you enjoy? Thoughts?

Graywacke One quote: “For here, at last, life lay before her as it was: not brave, garlanded and victorious, but naked, grovelling and diseased, dragging its maimed limbs through the mud, yet lifting piteous hands to the stars.” 2mo
Cathythoughts I really enjoyed this one. I‘m not sure what I think of Kates decision to marry & control the child. That she would be saving this unborn child 🤷🏼‍♀️ .. and I‘m not sure what actually happened in the end. I presume Dick did not use his friends work for the competition & finally the title #Sanctuaty makes sense .. it all got a bit confusing for me & I‘m thinking about it a lot. Look forward to seeing what others think .. 👇🏻 2mo
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Cathythoughts 👇🏻also Dick “ didnt go under “ & if he had he wouldn‘t have ‘ come up alive again ‘ .. maybe I‘m reading too much into it .. but the suicide in the lake at the beginning … I have suspicions about that.. 2mo
Graywacke @Cathythoughts i enjoyed this too. Thinking about the drowning and Dick. I‘m not sure he was in danger of going under, per say. I‘m not even sure what he was considering was immoral. He certainly was smothered by mom. 2mo
Cathythoughts He certainly was !! I love your picture 💫❤️old New York (edited) 2mo
Lcsmcat @Cathythoughts Nice catch of the drowning symbolism! I missed that. I think Dick‘s dilemma was less than Dennis‘s, but @graywacke I do think it would have been immoral to pass someone else‘s work off as his own. But for Kate to marry someone she could not respect in order to save a not only unborn, but unconceived child was a difficult stretch for me. It was an awkward plot device IMO. 2mo
Lcsmcat I think Wharton might have made more of this as a longer work where more could be shown of the years between the marriage and Dennis‘ death. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2mo
Lcsmcat Some quotes I marked. “she found transient relief in that dispersal of attention which makes society an anesthetic for some forms of wretchedness.” 2mo
Lcsmcat “she had sacrificed her personal happiness to a fantastic ideal of duty, and it was her punishment to be left alone with her failure” 2mo
Lcsmcat “Love such as hers had a great office, the office of preparation and direction; but it must know how to hold its hand and keep its counsel, how to attend upon its object as an invisible influence rather than as an active interference.” 2mo
Lcsmcat “If she might expiate and redeem his fault by becoming a refuge from its consequences?” 2mo
Lcsmcat “She had begun to perceive that the fair surface of life was honeycombed by a vast system of moral sewage.” 2mo
Lcsmcat “a world where honour was a pact of silence between adroit accomplices.” 2mo
Lcsmcat And, maybe the key to part 2, from book 1 “Yet Mrs. Peyton ought at least to know what had happened: was it not, in the last resort, she who should pronounce on her son‘s course?” 2mo
Lcsmcat Those are in reverse order, obviously. Sorry to spam the feed but I‘m traveling today and hit a spot with cell service. 😀 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat ( @Cathythoughts ) - thinking this through in a modern sense, Denis was stealing from the rightful inheritor. Dick could have acknowledged Paul‘s contribution and then there is no moral dilemma and Paul‘s nice idea gets shared. 🤷🏻‍♂️ 😁 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat As for Kate - all I can say about her decision is I think it tells us something about her - she is a lot more selfish in her morality than she fully realizes, and it‘s a little strange. 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat the quotes are terrific. There is so much in so many of these lines, and in the manner of the expression. 2mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Yes, Kate‘s morality is selfish and arrogant. She is the only one who can save any child of Dennis‘ ? Any other wife he chose would be unable to be moral? It‘s a bit of hubris! 2mo
Louise Fascinating comments! I‘m a little behind with the reading but will chime in when I finish the book! @graywacke @Lcsmcat @cathythoughts 2mo
Graywacke @Louise enjoy. I think it was my favorite book for September. 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat yes. Same for her son. There‘s a quote (searching… ) - “As she sat there in the radius of lamp- light which, for so many evenings, had held Dick and herself in a charmed circle of tenderness, she saw that her love for her boy had come to be merely a kind of extended egotism.” 2mo
Currey @Graywacke @Lcsmcat I totally agree that she was full of a strange hubris, that she was the only one that could save an unknown child….and that her own moral sense is the correct one in any situation. I also thought that the whole relationship with her son verged on being obsessive and maybe even a bit sick but that may have been more normal at the time. Strange and haunting but not for any of the obvious reasons. 2mo
Currey @Graywacke @Lcsmcat The son “doing the right thing” in the end was a bit of a twist in that we had been set up for his claiming his friend‘s work as his own. However, his mother actually did not believe in him, never actually believed in him….as clearly she had to marry his father to save him from the very beginning…. 2mo
Currey @Graywacke. @Lcsmcat I did appreciate moments of humor: “ I think that she likes to be helped first, and to have everything on her plate at once” 2mo
Graywacke @Currey I don‘t think it was normal for then. Especially to fight over your son with his fiancé. ? (for what it‘s worth, I liked Kate and finished the book liking her. She was nice to hang with and she was passionately well meaning and had positive influences on people. She just has some really weird aspects.) 2mo
Currey @Graywacke Yes, I agree. I also liked Kate, I just thought she was odd….but hey, I like odd people and characters. 2mo
arubabookwoman When I started reading this one I was immediately reminded of our 1st Wharton where the man who published the letters to get $ to marry, failed to tell his future wife and suffered guilt pangs ever after. Here, the future wife is told of her future husband's moral failures ahead of time, and it is she who suffers. I thought that was where this was going. 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 2mo
Lcsmcat @Currey @Graywacke I liked the quote about being helped first, too! Very character defining! I liked Kate, too, but still found her hubris unsettling. I think her obsession (for lack of a better word) over Duck was part of that. She had to keep him from being like his father. 2mo
Lcsmcat @arubabookwoman Oooh, nice point! 2mo
arubabookwoman I almost missed when Kate decides, "I better not let this morally deficient man marry another (unsuspecting) woman and have a child he'll pass this trait onto without my being there to prevent the child turning out like him." Then I saw it turning into a nature v. nurture tale. (edited) 2mo
arubabookwoman I liked Kate, and didn't find her to be a too overbearing mother. I think she tried to teach her son as best she could, but in the end I think she was pretty much leaving the decision up to him. The worst thing she did was tell his fiancée, in the hopes that the fiancée might show her true colors, he would see the light and make a good decision. 2mo
arubabookwoman @Graywacke I liked Dan's point about why he didn't just incorporate the inherited design, but give credit. 2mo
arubabookwoman I'm really enjoying in the 3 we've read so far (which I've not read before) Wharton's themes of the moral ambiguities we live with, and the choices we face all the time--what makes us "good" people? I'm also enjoying her themes/comments (sometimes in your face and sometimes just snarky asides) about the place of women in society. Looking forward to the continuing Wharton journey! 2mo
CarolynM I have to agree with @Graywacke about Kate's morality being a selfish thing and I thought her reasoning for marrying Denis was hard to process. But we have to remember the mores of the time, it was hard for a woman to make any contribution outside marriage and motherhood, so in that sense she probably thought she was doing her best for the world. I also thought there wasn't really moral equivalence between Denis's dilemma and Dick's... 2mo
CarolynM ...Denis's problem seemed to me to be about embarrassing the family by acknowledging his brother's wife whom he didn't think good enough. That sort of pride seems to me inherently different from the likely damage to your self respect of representing someone else's work as your own. 2mo
llwheeler I enjoyed this book! I liked how no one was portrayed as clearly good or bad. Everything is shades of grey. 2mo
Graywacke @arubabookwoman glad you‘re enjoying! that‘s such an interesting observation about the various flawed husbands. Also good point about the nature vs nurture game she is playing with here. I felt Kate‘s influence was stronger than that, but subtlety so. Clemence tells her she interfered by reading his thoughts. She doesn‘t have to say anything to kind of rule him (and conquer the unpredictable nature). Anyway, i liked her too. Ready for HoM. (edited) 2mo
Graywacke @CarolynM was Denis really concerned about honor or was it a convenient excuse to justify getting the money? 🙂 Hope you‘re enjoying! 2mo
Graywacke @llwheeler she does finesse. Glad you enjoyed too! 2mo
Graywacke @jewright @Louise @Sace @Suet624 @arubabookwoman @Currey @catebutler @Catherine_Willoughby @crazeedi @mdm139 @emilyhaldi @rubyslippersreads @KathyWheeler @llwheeler @CarolynM @Cathythoughts great stuff on a somewhat overlooked (and often panned in personal online reviews. But why?) novella. I‘m really looking forward to House of Mirth! We‘ll meet up after the first 8 chapters on October 30. 2mo
CarolynM I didn't read it as being about the validity of the will, but going back over it now it is all very vague on that score, so yes, it may have been only about the money. Casting the woman as an unmarried mother in those days was a pretty despicable thing to do whatever the reason. This morning I'm no longer sure what I think about it. 2mo
Graywacke @CarolynM 🙂 Wharton has left us a little uncomfortable three times now. But you bring up a point about the drowning. An unmarried mother commits suicide and no one thinks she would have been fine. Is Wharton poking at the sexist culture there, the dependence of women on men for financial support and social dignity? 2mo
mdm139 I am a week behind but I finally finished the novella. I found it the most easily read so far and much more likable characters. 2mo
Graywacke @mdm139 agree completely. Glad you caught up. 2mo
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Sanctuary | Edith Wharton
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My kindle version cover …only on page 19 ( so no spoilers ) The writing is so beautiful & we have a body found in a lake already … I‘m totally invested !
#WhartonBuddyRead @Graywacke

Tamra I‘m glad your reading game is back on! 😊 2mo
Cathythoughts @Tamra oh Thankyou ! 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻 2mo
Graywacke Nice to see this post. I‘m also finding her prose quite wonderful. (although for its a discovery 🙂) 2mo
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Cathythoughts @Graywacke Thanks! I‘ve only read 2 or 3 … so I‘m very excited to read more. She is brilliant.. 2mo
LeahBergen This is one of hers that I haven‘t read (yet!) 😊 2mo
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen … I‘m nearly finished now , it‘s very good 👍🏻 2mo
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Sanctuary | Edith Wharton
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My eBook version of the Complete Edith Wharton has this illustration at the beginning of Sanctuary. #whartonbuddyread @Graywacke

Graywacke Very pretty and with some cool time period feel. 2mo
Cathythoughts Looks good ! I‘m hoping to start today 🤞🏻 2mo
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Sanctuary | Edith Wharton
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Wharton‘s third book of longer fiction is a roughly 100-page novella (depending on your edition). We‘ll discuss Saturday next week, Oct 2.

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Sanctuary | Edith Wharton
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Looking ahead, here are our next two books:

Sanctuary (1903) - begin discussion Oct 2
House of Mirth (1905) - begin discussion Nov 13

(Dates are still flexible)

Lcsmcat 👍🏻 3mo
Tamra I won‘t be able to join. Life! 😩 For your ease you can remove me from the list. 3mo
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Graywacke @Tamra Sure. I updated my list for next time. 3mo
CarolynM I plan to join in with these. Hopefully I'll be more successful than I was with the last one. Thanks Dan. 3mo
Louise Good to know. I‘m so far behind with the current book due to life stresses that I should perhaps just look ahead to the next book. Thanks for posting! 3mo
batsy I'm having a tough time fitting Wharton in right now too though I would have liked to. Please remove me from the list, too. Thank you! 3mo
jewright I will try to join. I‘m behind in the current book, but I‘m plodding along. 3mo
Graywacke @CarolynM @Louise @jewright I don‘t know what we will find in Sanctuary but I think HoM will be our first look into the writer she became. @batsy no problem. 3mo
jewright I have read House of Mirth, but it was a long time ago. 3mo
Currey Just realized I never responded to this. I am in for Sanctuary. @Lcsmcat @Graywacke 2mo
Graywacke @Currey good to know. I‘ll post an update today. 2mo
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Sanctuary | Edith Wharton
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Beautiful writing but I‘m at odds with MC and her motives: Kate is happily engaged to Denis who is faced with a moral dilemma and fails to act correctly (in the eyes of Kate). They marry, have one child, and Kate is determined her son will be of stronger ilk than his father. History repeats and the son faces his own crisis. Does nature, nurture or neither win out?


BookishMe Whenever my children impress me, I credit nature. 😊😊 When things go wrong, I blame the nurturer, me 😳😳 thankfully, it usually balances out ;p 2y
Eggs Let‘s just assume it‘s a healthy combination of both tempered by the memory that no one is perfect 👌🏼🤗 @BookishMe (edited) 2y
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