The Old Maid by Edith Wharton read by Eleanor Bron

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The Independent Culture

There's no tale like an old tale. Edith Wharton's compelling short novella, first published in 1924, starts like a purring kitten and becomes a raging tiger. Its theme is the choices we make when we are too young to understand our own natures, and the slowly played out aftermath as we have to live through those irreversible decisions. Delia, impeccably well-married to dull but dear Jim, rejected the siren call of passion and is conventionally successful. Her cousin Charlotte followed her heart just once and doomed herself to be an old maid. What hangs in the balance between them is the fate of Tina, officially a mysterious foundling, but in truth an icon whose future will justify to each her life choice. Simply-stated, emotionally complex and convincing, this is one of the most compelling audiobooks I've heard, and as reader Eleanor Bron captures all the burning intensity behind its refined turn-of-the-century New York accents.

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