A naive girl from a humble background meets an ambitious city boy, and a torrid romance ensues. Despite her pride, independence, and honesty, Charity Royall feels shadowed by her past — especially in her ardent relationship with the educated and refined Lucius Harney. Can passion overcome the effects of heredity and environment? With its frank treatment of a woman's sexual awakening, Summer created a sensation upon its initial publication; in recent years, The New Republic declared it "the 50 Shades of Gray of 1916." Edith Wharton, a peerless observer and chronicler of society, completely shattered the standards of conventional love stories with this novel's candor and realism. The Pulitzer Prize–winning author declared Summer a personal favorite among her works and liked to refer to it as "the Hot Ethan," a sultry companion to the chilly landscapes of her ever-popular Ethan Frome. Nearly a century later, Summer remains fresh and relevant.