Tuesday, March 4, 2008

"Roman Fever"

My former boss just joined the 21st Century and bought herself an iPod. To get her started, I sent her a gift of a Selected Shorts program of Edith Wharton short stories recorded at The Mount, which was Wharton's home.

When my boss sent me an e-mail thanking me for the gift, she mentioned that "Roman Fever," which is in the collection of stories I sent, is her favorite short story ever. I've read it before, but I felt the need to read it again, because it really is such a grand piece of fiction.

It's about two wealthy widows from New York City spending time in Rome while their young daughters are gadding about with their suitors. The women knew each other when they were young women, visiting Rome together. It turns out that they were both in love with the same man at the time. I can't really say anything more without giving away too much. But this story has the best closing line in any book or short story I've ever read - ever.

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