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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...more

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," and her not-as-much (personally, alas) is "House of Mirth", but sandwich...more

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 knowledge none featured...more

L’INVERNO DEL CUORE

Liam Neeson è Ethan Frome nel film del 1993 diretto da John Madden.

Non era tanto la sua statura, perché quasi tutti gli “indigeni” spiccavano a prima vista tra le razze forestiere più tozze proprio per la loro altezza dinoccolata; era piuttosto quel suo aspetto naturalmente vig...more

CAMOUFLAGE

There is the stark landscape of the stark field. Starkfield it is.

Then slowly, through third party eyes, with all the distance that this implies, we begin to discern a shape that slowly acquires its own entity against its background. No, not even third party eyes, but third parties o...more

Because March is women's history month, I made it a point to only read women authors over the course of the month. As the month winds to a close, I have visited many places and cultures, learning about historical events from a female perspective. Yet, to observe women's history month, it would no...more

Because Edith Wharton was born in 1862 and this novel was written in 1911, I’ve always resisted reading the story fearing that it might contain florid prose and descriptions, which are often mind-numbing for me. Not only did I love it, I was reminded of one of my all time favorite novels, Stoner....more

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, Ze...more

Sparse prose is sexy.

Sexy.

And that's why I've given it a special shelf on my page, called a buck and change.

Guess what else sparse prose is?

Rare.

That's why I have only seven books on there.

Why? Why are these precious books that fall under 200 pages so rare?

Because writers tend to overwrite every...more

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...more

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