In the summer of her 28th year, Edna Pontellier and her children, along with the wives and families of other prospective businessmen, spend the summer in an idyllic coastal community away from their husbands and the sweltering heat of 1890s' New Orleans. Aware of deep yearnings that are unfulfilled by marriage and motherhood, Edna plunges into an illicit liaison that reawakens her long dormant desires, inflames her heart, and eventually blinds her to all else.
A precursor of the 20th century's feminist authors, Kate Chopin (1850-1904) wrote short stories and novels for children and adults. The St. Louis native lived in New Orleans for a dozen years and set most of her tales amid Louisiana's Creole culture. Many of her stories were well ahead of their time, and she achieved widespread acclaim only after her death.