The Scarlet Letters by Louis Auchincloss

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With such classic works as The Rector of Justin and, more recently, Manhattan Monologues, Louis Auchincloss has long established himself as one of our "most useful and intelligent writers" (New York Observer). Now this American master offers his cleverest novel yet: a triumphant modern twist on the legendary Hawthorne tale, in which secrets, sin, and suspense collide among the fabulously rich.
The year is 1953, and the coastal village of Glenville, on the opulent north shore of Long Island, is shaken by scandal. Ambrose Vollard, the managing partner of a prestigious Wall Street law firm, gets word of an alleged affair in his family. Most astonishing, the adulterer is Rodman Jessup, Vollard's son-in-law, junior partner, and most likely successor. Until now Jessup has been admired for his impeccable morals and high ideals, so what could explain his affair with a woman of fading charms? All is on the line for Jessup, who threatens to upset Glenville's carefully calibrated social order. As each family member learns of the affair, the story reveals layer upon layer of abiding loyalties and shameless double-crossing.
Wise, rich, and exuberantly entertaining, The Scarlet Letters posts a seductive missive to anyone ever tempted by power, wealth, or passion.

About Louis Auchincloss

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Louis Auchincloss was born on September 27, 1917 in New York. He attended Groton College and Yale University and received a law degree from the University of Virginia. He served in the U.S. Navy for four years during World War ll. A practicing attorney, Auchincloss wrote his first novel, "The Indifferent Children," in 1947 under the pseudonym Andrew Lee, establishing a dual career as a successful lawyer and writer. Born into a socially prominent family, Auchincloss generally writes about society's upper class. Strong family connections, well-bred manners, and corporate boardrooms are subject matter in such novels as "Portrait in Brownstone" and "I Come As a Thief." He has also written several biographical and critical works on such notable writers as Edith Wharton and Henry James. Auchincloss was President of the Museum of the City of New York.
Published November 5, 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 204 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Small wonder that their planet was menaced with a third world war!” Having set up the stifling society in which the Vollards are currently entombed, Auchincloss then nimbly hops back in time to trace the evolution of the family and eventually the disastrous affair, from Ambrose’s troubled childho...

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Publishers Weekly

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Auchincloss's writing, which can seem somewhat old-fashioned and burdened with authorial exegesis rather than demonstration of character, makes perfect sense in the context of this near-allegorical morality tale, and readers are rewarded with an embellishment of the simple dichotomies of Hawthorn...

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Entertainment Weekly

In his 59th book, octogenarian Auchincloss proves he hasn't yet burned out on one of his favorite topics: the slippery morals of upper-class Manhattanites.

Nov 07 2003 | Read Full Review of The Scarlet Letters

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