Chapter 23 Summary

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Last Updated February 22, 2023.

Edna's sister Janet is getting married and their father, who is a retired colonel and still carries himself with military discipline, is currently in the city to buy a wedding present for her. Although Edna and her father aren't very close, they still get along well. In fact, he's content to pose for a portrait, remaining still and stiff for hours without complaint.

Edna accompanies her father to a social gathering at the Ratignolles', during which Adele engages in flirtatious behavior with him. Edna observes Adele's behavior but acknowledges that she lacks the ability to act similarly. Meanwhile, Leonce, Edna's husband, opts not to attend these events and instead spends his time at the club, a decision that Adele criticizes. However, Edna is content with their limited time together and questions what they would discuss if they did spend more time in each other's company.

In the afternoon, Edna and her father visit the racetrack and have a successful experience which becomes the main topic of discussion during dinner. They also encounter Mrs. Merriman, Mrs. Highcamp, and Alcee Arobin while at the track. However, Leonce, Edna's husband, does not approve of gambling. Later, during dinner, everyone shares stories, and Edna tells one about a woman who had eloped with a lover and disappeared.

While having dinner that night, Dr. Mandelet observes Edna and thinks she looks glowing. He detects a slight transformation in her, a sprightliness that he hadn't observed previously.

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Chapter 22 Summary


Chapter 24 Summary