Kate Chopin's compelling, candid portrait of a woman attempting to seek a life beyond her role as devoted wife and mother was considered dangerous when first published in 1899
The Pontellier family are spending a hot, lazy holiday on the Gulf of Mexico. No-one expects that Edna Pontellier should be preoccupied with anything more than her husband and children. When an illicit summer romance awakens new ideas and longings in Edna, she can barely understand herself, and cannot hope for aid or acceptance in the stifling attitudes of Louisiana society. Now considered a classic, this tale of liberation caused a scandal when it was first published and was dismissed as "vulgar," "unhealthy," and "morbid" by other contemporary reviewers, effectively ending Chopin's career.