Roman Fever Short Summary
Two friends meet at a Roman Restaurant. One is called Alida Slade and the other Grace Ansley. The two begin recalling the time they both lived in Italy. By that time, they were still young. After that, they got lost from each other and got married in separate cities. They had both recently lost their husbands.
A Brief Plot Overview
At the moment, Alida Slade has had two children. Jenny was her daughter. Her son died at a young age. Grace Ansley had only given birth to Barbra. When both Slade and Grace were young, they were prevented from going out at night for fear of contacting the Roman fever. They could see the Colosseum. The place was always closed to prevent lovers from going out at night. Some still went out.
Grace was the first person to get married to Horace Ansley. Later, Alida got married to Delphin Slade. Alida perceived Ansley’s family as one that lived through imperfections. They had previously lived a boring life before Horace Ansley got a decent job and they moved to a better neighborhood. On the other hand, Alida saw her life with Delphin as a perfect one. She was a hostess. Alida wonders how Grace and Ansley gave birth to such a charming daughter. She finds her Jenny rather dull. She feels that if Barbra were her daughter, she would be much better.
The perception of Grace about Alida is quite different. She sees Alida as an intelligent woman. However, she feels Alida overvalues her positive attributes. She recalls how Alida grew as a pretty girl. To her, Alida’s life has somehow been marred by many failures. In a way, both women feel that their lives did not turn out as good as they would have wished.
The two women remain within the hotel past 5. Grace knits, Alida recalls how their mothers had to warn them not to go out at night so that they do not contract Roman fever. There was a time the two girls had confusion over who should date Delphin Slade. Because of the letter Alida wrote, Grace went out in a bid to meet Delphin who did not show up. Grace feels that despite her efforts to frustrate Alida, she still turned out fine and had a more beautiful daughter. The novel by Edith Wharton ends there.