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By LilMissMolly on 03-05-14
Story of Victorian Era Helicopter Parent
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I listened to the audio book version of Sanctuary narrated by Lee Ann Howlett. Sanctuary is one of Wharton's earlier novellas, having been published in 1903. As such it does not have the polished quality of her more famous works, such as The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence. However, Sanctuary includes Wharton's trademark use of dramatic irony.
The story centers on Kate, who marries a man after she discovers that he is morally flawed by failing to acknowledge his now deceased brother's wife and son, thus cutting them out of their legitimate inheritance. After her husband dies and she raises her son into adulthood, the son starts displaying many of his father's flaws. Personally, I felt Kate's actions to be that of a "helicopter parent" and very uncomfortable.
Lee Ann Howlett's performance was solid, having different tones and inflections for the varying characters. Her reading pace was also good and set the proper atmosphere for the story.
In short, Sanctuary is worth reading or listening to, especially as a study into Wharton's development of life and moral struggles in her characters, which would eventually earn her a Pulitzer Prize.
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