Xingu by Edith Wharton

XinguPortadaReading a classic, which I haven’t done in a while, and having it be a rather short story was refreshing. The fact that it’s short is not the only thing I liked about this short story, I liked that it was funny and made me laugh!

The story is about six pompous ladies who are in a book club and are about to have a book club meeting where they have invited the author of a book they are going to discuss. Neither of them have read the book, “The Wings of Death”, yet they pretend that they have.  The ladies who strive after culture and knowledge, especially in literature, are not very fond of Mrs Roby who is their newest member. In fact, these women tend to be your typical judgy females (like judging Mrs Ballinger’s home who is supposed to be used for this particular meeting).

Mrs Roby however makes no secret about the fact that she hasn’t read the book and during the discussion she brings up Xingu.  All the ladies pretend to know what she was referring to and start talking along.  She later excuses herself from the book club meeting to go play bingo. Needless to say this leaves the other ladies gasping (not that it happened, but I assume they did silently), because why on earth would this woman declare she is leaving to go play bingo!? “Yes, she definitely don’t belong in this book club” is probably the thought that went through their heads. When they find out Xingu is in fact a river in Brazil, they are convinced that Mrs Roby were trying to make fools of them. Well she kind of did! It was a nice, short satire and indeed left me giggling.

If you enjoy Edith Wharton’s work, I’m pretty sure you would love this one! Have you read this? What’s your favourite work from this author?

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