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Extended Audio Sample The Reef Audiobook, by Edith Wharton Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 5 3.60 (48 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edith Wharton Narrator: Kristen Underwood Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455172481
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The Reef follows the fancies of George Darrow, a young diplomat en route from London to France, intent on proposing to the widowed Anna Leath. Unsettled by Anna’s reticence, Darrow drifts into an affair with Sophy Viner, a charmingly naïve and impecunious young woman whose relations with Darrow and Anna’s family threaten his prospects for success. The affair becomes the reef on which four lives are in danger of foundering: two of them innocent, and two of them burdened with experience and tinged with desperation.

A challenge to the moral climate of the day, this story of the drastic effects of a casual sexual betrayal offers a clear-eyed assessment of the possibilities and limitations of human love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The novel…was most enthusiastically admired by Henry James, and one can see why, for it is most Jamesian…It marks the peak of her most brilliant period of creativity…And for us it is a chance to see what can be achieved in the pursuit of moral truths.”

    Anita Brookner, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Underwood does a stellar job of interpreting the characters, deftly giving each a distinct voice and allowing the tension between characters to seem natural—and inevitable—due to their personalities…With her graceful, well paced reading, Underwood gives it the attention it deserves.”

    Kliatt

  • The Reef exemplifies [Wharton’s] close observation of Americans in France, their inner lives and social conflicts.”

    Audiofile

  • “A complex, subtle, and moving story of the ways in which people torment one another and the awful power of retrospective jealousy.”

    Penelope Lively

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 2/16/2014

    " Prob my fav NR book, which says alot since I think I've read almost all her books. Loved the setting and the history of the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanna | 2/10/2014

    " I have to review this book, because it is my absolute favorite, guilty pleasure, summer read of all time. If you are looking for a quick read that will transport you to the Caribbean (or something to read while you are on the beaches there) pick up this book. It has enough suspense and witty banter to keep you turning the pages, and the characters are well developed and smart and sympathetic for a romance novel. With sunscreen and an icy mojito, it just can't be beat. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mystic Wyngarden | 2/9/2014

    " I love it and I want more like it!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 2/4/2014

    " This novel gives the reader a real sense of being in the Caribbean, scuba diving along with its main characters. The plot takes place in the past, as well as the present, and has both a heart-wrenching love story and twisted mystery. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cindy | 2/2/2014

    " I rarely read Nora Roberts but the book trader had this on the $1 shelf and yesterday was a perfect day for hanging out inside and reading. It was OK, about what I expected. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 1/29/2014

    " Awesome. Loved the history intertwined with the subplots. Of course, true to Nora Roberts form, you get to a point and you just cannot put it down. Loved it!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kayla | 1/28/2014

    " Yes I am reading another Nora Roberts book... hehe "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kori Crane | 1/27/2014

    " My favorite Nora Roberts book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brenda | 1/20/2014

    " Listened to the Audio version. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 1/18/2014

    " good. Solid NR. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rinda | 1/8/2014

    " Under water salvage story. Watch out for all the bad language. When I couldn't take it any longer, I skipped to the end to see how the story ended. As a snorkeler, I enjoyed the underwater images. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenni Baudoin | 1/6/2014

    " Amazing book! Loved the marine archeology aspect of the book. Also loved the romance storyline. Very entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brittany | 1/4/2014

    " I enjoyed this book! Made me realize how much I miss diving! She did a great job in her description of the undersea experience. Exciting treasure hunting with a love story and action! Easy read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shanjacks | 12/23/2013

    " This was the first Nora Roberts book I ever read, so I love it!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 12/21/2013

    " Absolutely loved this book. I loved the couple at the center of the story, how they broke up and came back together. I loved the treasure hunt. And the villain was particularly villainous. All in all, a wonderful Nora book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenetta | 12/13/2013

    " Good book whats not to like a treasure hunt with a little romance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathie | 12/8/2013

    " I enjoy reading Nora Roberts' books. The descriptions she gives make me think I am actually present at the places her books take place. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine Briggs | 11/25/2013

    " Engaging romance. Not really into that totally make believe world where the guy is so perfect. A good fairy tale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 11/12/2013

    " Enjoyable...not her best, but still good chick-lit! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linde | 8/27/2013

    " Fun book, especially if you're a scuba diver. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber | 2/7/2013

    " It was written by Nora Roberts, so of course I really liked it. But the characters did drive me up the walls sometimes... oh well. Great suspense, murder, mystery, treasure-hunting - made for a fun read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 12/12/2012

    " This is my favorite Nora Roberts book of all time. I suppose a sea swept romance is just my cup of tea. I think I shall re-read it soon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen | 11/8/2012

    " This was a book about diving/treasure hunting. As always, I enjoyed it and I love that Nora Roberts gives her characters a depth. She still continues to suprise me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glenda L | 11/6/2012

    " Suspenseful!! I loved reading about diving into the ocean, seeing the coral reefs and finding sunken treasure. Nora Roberts did a good job keeping her readers interest in this one ... with lots of passionate characters. This is one of her best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Auntkel | 10/31/2011

    " If you like Nora Roberts as much as i do you'll love this one. It has an interesting nephew/uncle angle kinda like the sister angle in Montanna Sky. I would say even guys might like this one because the main characher is the nephew and not a female. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 10/22/2011

    " Loved this book. It made me want to jump in a boat and disappear from it all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 7/13/2011

    " I read this on vacation. It was a perfect book to read over the course of a week. The plot is interesting and the characters memorable as always in a Nora Roberts book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keara Donohue | 5/27/2011

    " I enjoyed this book as I do most of Nora Roberts novels. I would not consider this book one of my favorites of hers or one of my least favorites. Just a nice solid romance story with a bit of suspense. A very good vacation / plane read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Beeface | 4/21/2011

    " I tried... This is to remind myself to just say NO. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Liz | 2/20/2011

    " I started this book, but didn,t finish it, it just couldnt keep my attention. I had to keep reading the same pages over and over. I will try again but not for a while. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Theresa | 2/18/2011

    " Initially found it difficult to read the 'old' English but persevered. Gave it two stars as I didn't care for one of the main characters (George Darrow) and the ending was unsatisfactory. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 2/10/2011

    " Wharton seems to specialise in tragic romantic fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 1/24/2011

    " This is the only Edith Wharton book I've ever liked. I found this story of a struggling relationship very raw, honest, and moving, unlike the other books of hers I've read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 1/20/2011

    " Another superb Wharton novel, though maybe a little claustrophobic and limited, compared to The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 11/27/2010

    " Yeah, of course Henry James would have liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 11/15/2010

    " I'd rank this one below Age of Innocence but about even with Custom of the Country. Not one of her depressing ones, at least. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 8/21/2010

    " Daring novel, published in 1912, which follows the complicated love lives of four Americans in France. Dramatised by Penny Leicester. Starring Jodhi May and Sian Thomas. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susanne | 7/20/2010

    " Can you believe that Nora Roberts had the NERVE to name one of her books THE REEF! Edith Wharton folks, this is the one you want. Not as juicy as The House of Mirth, but excellent. "

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About the Author
Author Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton (1862–1937) was born in New York and is best known for her stories of life among the upper-class society into which she was born. She was educated privately at home and in Europe. In 1894 she began writing fiction, and her novel The House of Mirth established her as a leading writer. Her novels The Age of Innocence and Old New York were each awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She was the first woman to receive that honor. In 1929 she was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction.