Well-written novella about a man who returns to New York after 12 years and meets up with some old friends. He finds them much changed, and tries to find out what events in their lives could've been responsible for the change. He learns that our actions have consequences that can affect us in the long run. If you like Wharton's 'The Age of Innocence', you'll probably enjoy this story.
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Beautiful story but would have liked to have seen Wharton develop this story further. Still, the short story packs quite a punch but in the end the reader is not quite satisfied. In some ways all of Wharton's books are like this because in that world a happy ending is so rare.
Something about that world though makes the reader of today want to go back in a time machine. Somehow a simpler, less complicated world looks inviting to a reader from the post 2000 time period. Also, one thinks of the slippery slope of morality, and what happened to America, when we abandoned our values.