Book summary: The Children

1928 BY EDITH WHARTON

A bestseller when it was first published in 1928, Edith Wharton's The Children is a comic, bittersweet novel about the misadventures of a bachelor and a band of precocious children. The seven Wheater children, stepbrothers and stepsisters grown weary of being shuttled from parent to parent "like bundles," are eager for their parents' latest reconciliation to last. A chance meeting between the children and the solitary forty-six-year-old Martin Boyne leads to a series of unforgettable encounters. Among the colorful cast of characters are the Wheater adults, who play out their own comedy of marital errors; the flamboyant Marchioness of Wrench; and the vivacious fifteen-year-old Judith Wheater, who captures Martin's heart. With deft humor and touching drama, Wharton portrays a world of intrigues and infidelities, skewering the manners and mores of Americans abroad.

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