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Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
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Ethan Frome (original 1911; edition 1965)

by Edith Wharton

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7,523168691 (3.61)651
Member:TheCriticalTimes
Title:Ethan Frome
Authors:Edith Wharton
Info:Scribner Library (1965), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Literary Fiction

Work details

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (1911)

  1. 10
    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (PilgrimJess)
    PilgrimJess: Another tale of a character seeming weighed down by social and moral constraints.
  2. 10
    Remembering Laughter by Wallace Stegner (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: In Remembering Laughter a woman confronts her husband's escalating use of alcohol; in Ethan Frome the title character's wife is difficult and demanding. Both novels elegantly depict a husband obsessed with his wife's sister, resulting in a love triangle with tragic consequences.… (more)
  3. 10
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (kxlly)
  4. 00
    Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton (FernandoH)
  5. 00
    The Reader by Bernhard Schlink (1Owlette)
  6. 05
    Brokeback Mountain {short story} by Annie Proulx (1Owlette)
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» See also 651 mentions

English (164)  Spanish (3)  French (1)  All languages (168)
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
A thin book but it contains so much within its pages. The sorrow weighs you down. Anytime you think you are unfortunate, think of Ethan Frome. He wanted to pursue happiness but was thwarted at every time. Finally, he agreed to a suicide pact with Mattie, the girl he loved, by sledding into a tree. But he changed his mind at the last minute. He didn't save themselves but ended up crippling himself and paralyzing Mattie. It was the wife he wanted to leave who nursed Mattie who ended up disgruntled. And the three of them lived in the same house. ( )
  siok | Aug 29, 2018 |
Ethan Frome is a classic. I don't remember ever reading it though I saw the movie with Liam Neeson and Patricia Arquette a long time ago. Both of my sons love this book and talk about it frequently. The younger one mentioned it recently, and I decided to give it a read.
Ethan Frome is married to Zeena, a hypochondriac. They're very poor but have taken in Zeena's cousin Mattie Silver to help Zeena around the house. Mattie is everything Zeena isn't; she's young and a breath of fresh air in Ethan's life.
This book is deservedly a classic. The pacing of the plot is excellent with the beginning and end told by a third-party narrator and the main story told as it happened. The setting is western Massachusetts in the small fictional town of Starkfield, and the author captures the scenery and time period well. The dialogue fits, and the ending is a surprise.
I'm glad they encouraged me to read this book. It truly is a must-read. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Jul 23, 2018 |
One of those books I read when I was young, but always thought I should read again. It was a quick read with an unexpected ending and held my attention to the end. Sometimes life makes us pay too high a price...I probably understand that better now than I would have in my 20s.

Like so many of Wharton's characters, Ethan Frome is searching for his place in the world and hoping for a happiness that is always just out of his reach. I suppose our sympathies ought to lie, to some extent, with Zenobia, the wronged wife, but how can they when she is so harsh and cruel. Aside from that, this is a very different novel from Wharton's other works. It is not about class. Frome isn't hungry to join the wealthier class, he is hungry to join the world. He wants to lead a life with meaning, and he is tied to a farm that holds him because of an accident of birth, and a woman who holds him because of an accident of circumstances.

Like all of Wharton's works, this one packs a lot into a small space. It does not stretch beyond what is needed, and the images of Ethan Frome that we see in the beginning become very poignant by the end. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Digital audio narrated by C M Hebert

From the book jacket: Ethan Frome works his unproductive farm and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his difficult, suspicious, and hypochondriac wife, Zeena. But when Zeena’s vivacious cousin enters their household as a hired girl, Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and with the possibilities for happiness she comes to represent.

My reactions:
I love Edith Wharton’s writing. I love the way she explores relationships and unfulfilled desires. The tension is palpable, the yearning almost unendurable.

She’s a little heavy-handed with the allegory / metaphor in this case. The setting is Starkfield, Massachusetts, in winter; as if the reader needs a reminder of how depressing and lacking in color Ethan’s life is. Though I was reading in the midst of a summer heat wave, I felt chilled. And then I felt that spark of attraction between Ethan and Mattie. Felt Ethan’s heart soar with the possibilities, only to sink with the realization that he was trapped in a device of his own making.

C M Hebert does a fine job narrating the audio book. He reads at a fine pace, and his tone is suitable to the material. After listening, however, I also picked up the text and read through several passages. I think I prefer the text so that I can savor Wharton’s writing. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jun 18, 2018 |
I adored this book as a teenager, I remember it extremely vividly. I wonder what I would think of it 20 years later, I want to re-read this soon. ( )
  gabarito | May 13, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
It will only take you the afternoon, but it’s shocking snowy ending will leave you pondering it for days.
 

» Add other authors (107 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edith Whartonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ammons, ElizabethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fadiman, CliftonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hébert, C MNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hutchinson, EmilyAbridged edition bysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munn, Helen T.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poor, Henry VarnumIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Showalter, ElaineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story. (Author's Introductory Note)
The village lay under two feet of snow, with drifts at the windy corners.
Quotations
He never turned his face to mine, or answered, except in monosyllables, the questions I put, or such slight pleasantries as I ventured. He seemed a part of the mute melancholy landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing unfriendly in his silence. I simply felt that he lived in a depth of moral isolation too remote for casual access, and I had the sense that his loneliness was not merely the result of his personal plight, tragic as I guessed that to be, but had in it, as Harmon Gow had hinted, the profound accumulated cold of many Starkfield winters.
...we came to an orchard of starved apple-trees writing over a hillside among outcroppings of slate that nuzzled up through the snow like animals pushing out their noses to breathe. Beyond the orchard lay a field or two, their boundaries lost under drifts, and above the fields, huddled against the white immensities of land and sky, one of those lonely New England farmhouses that make the landscape lonelier.
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Book description
The setting for this piercing New England novel is the aptly named Starkfield, where, despite violently blue skies, the chill of cold and snow seems also to settle inside the hearts of the people who live there. Tethered to his farm, first by helpless parents, later by his querulous, hypochrondriac wife, Zeena, Ethan Frome ekes out a bare subsistence. Then Zeena's cousin, the impoverished, enchanting Mattie Silver comes to work for them and, in Mattie, Ethan's hopes and dreams are rekindled. Yet theirs is a forbidden love, hemmed in by Zeena's presence. The impossible intensity in which the three exist has devastating consequences...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142437808, Paperback)

Ethan Frome works his unproductive farm and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his difficult, suspicious, and hypochondriac wife, Zeenie. But when Zeenie’s vivacious cousin enters their household as a “hired girl,” Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and with the possibilities for happiness she comes to represent.

In one of American fiction’s finest and most intense narratives, Edith Wharton moves this ill-starred trio toward their tragic destinies. Different in both tone and theme from Wharton’s other works, Ethan Frome has become perhaps her most enduring and most widely read novel.

Updated with a new introduction

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:00 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"Ethan Frome works his unproductive farm and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his difficult, suspicious, and hypochondriac wife, Zeena. But when Zeena's vivacious cousin enters their household as a hired girl, Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and with the possibilities for happiness she comes to represent." "In one of American fiction's finest and most intense narratives, Edith Wharton moves this ill-starred trio toward their tragic destinies. Different in both tone and theme from Wharton's other works, Ethan Frome has become perhaps her most enduring and most widely read book."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 39 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0142437808, 0451531310, 0143105930, 0141389400

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100631, 1400108527

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909438847, 1909438855

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