Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Me? Listen to Audio?! #41

The Shadow of A Doubt. (A Play) Edith Wharton. 1901.  Introduced by Laura Rattray. Adapted for radio by Melissa Murray. Directed by Emma Harding. BBC Radio 3. Aired October 2018. 1 hour and a half.

In 2017, two academics--Laura Rattray and Mary Chinery--discovered one of Edith Wharton's lost plays. "The Shadow of a Doubt" was written in 1901 but never performed on stage. It debuted on BBC Radio. And I believe there are current plans to stage it in 2019.

John Derwent has a new wife. Not everyone is pleased--some are quite skeptical. Is his second wife, Kate, as worthy as his first wife Agnes? Kate is from a different social class than his first wife. Kate was, in fact, the one who nursed his first wife during her last days. Some suspect that perhaps--just perhaps--Kate might have seen an opportunity and taken advantage of it. (Did she murder his first wife so she could step into her shoes and raise her child?)

Is she guilty? Is she innocent? Should her husband believe her beyond a shadow of a doubt--wholeheartedly giving himself to her? Or is he wise to hold back until he knows the whole story? Once he begins to doubt can he ever stop himself?

Can this marriage be saved?! Should it be saved?! At one point, Kate is in favor of separation--if her husband doesn't believe her, he doesn't believe her. She's not going to beg him to stay--not if he doesn't trust her. At another point, the father of the first wife--the grandfather of her step-daughter--is advocating for divorce and offering to bribe her with substantial amounts of money if she'll only agree to end the marriage permanently. But her biggest critic may end up being her biggest supporter....

I really enjoyed this one. I have not read any of Wharton's novels, but I have read quite a few of her short stories. I would love to see this one in print. But it made for a good listen. 

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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