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Ethan Frome

Edith Wharton

Book Overview: 

Edith Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome tells the story of a tragic love triangle. Set in the highly symbolic wintry landscape of Starkfield, Massachusetts, the narrative centers on the title character’s fraught relationships with his “sickly, cantankerous” wife Zeena and his young, beautiful cousin Mattie Silver.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .mories came back with the poignancy of vanished things. Watching Mattie whirl down the floor from hand to hand he wondered how he could ever have thought that his dull talk interested her. To him, who was never gay but in her presence, her gaiety seemed plain proof of indifference. The face she lifted to her dancers was the same which, when she saw him, always looked like a window that has caught the sunset. He even noticed two or three gestures which, in his fatuity, he had thought she kept for him: a way of throwing her head back when she was amused, as if to taste her laugh before she let it out, and a trick of sinking her lids slowly when anything charmed or moved her.

The sight made him unhappy, and his unhappiness roused his latent fears. His wife had never shown any jealousy of Mattie, but of late she had grumbled increasingly over the house-work and found oblique ways of attracting attention to the girl's inefficiency. Zeena had always been what Starkf. . . Read More

Community Reviews

“He seemed a part of the mute melancholy landscape, an incarnation of it's frozen woe, with all that was warm and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing nothing unfriendly in his silence. I simply felt that he lived in a depth of moral isolation too remote for casual acc

Magnificent, spectacular... I somehow always feel I must assign many types of superlatives to the magnificent & spectacular Edith Wharton! Definitely top ten writers of ALL TIME contender. Her best is "Age of Innocence," & her not-as-much (personally, alas) is "House of Mirth", but sandwiched betwee

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This is a romantic tragedy that culminates in a sledding accident. I will just say a few brief words about that. First, there is probably a reason that sledding accidents don't figure more prominently in tragedies. Shakespeare wrote like 13 tragedies and to the best of my

It is a plaintive story of a poor farmer, Ethan Frome, a man with thwarted desires and meagre resources. His entire life (past, present and future) is allegorical of hardship, austerity and distress!

I was expecting it to be focused around passion (as from the blurbs), but I found it to be everythi

In the bleak setting of 1880's Starkfield, appropriately named, (Lenox, western Massachusetts) where it always seems like perpetual winter, and its cold, dark, gloomy, ambiance, a poor, uneasy farmer, Ethan Frome, 28, is all alone, his mother has just died, the woman who took good care of her, Zenob

spoilers?? what spoilers??

i have changed my stance on the cover. a) initially, i thought that it was showing an altogether different type of activity, and then b) when ariel called it a spoiler, i reinterpreted it to something else and was still wrong, and then c) everything that may potentially be

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