Friday, June 19, 2009

Ethan Frome

Title: Ethan Frome
Author: Edith Wharton
Genre: Classics, Fiction
Pages: 99
Published: 1911
Date Finished: 19 June 2009
My Rating: 5 Stars
Challenges: 100+, New Author, Decades, Dewey's Books, Classics, Spring

The bleak New England setting of Ethan Frome helps set the tone for this rather bleak little novel.
Ethan Frome is a poor, down trodden, and in my opinion weak willed farmer. He is married to Zeena, a hypochondriac, uncommunicative, rigid, complaining, manipulative (I could go on...) woman.
When Zeena's destitute cousin Mattie Silver moves in with the Fromes Ethan quickly becomes enamored with the young, happy woman who seems to be the exact opposite of his wife in every way. Ethan finds himself being pulled between doing the right thing and what he thinks will make him happy.
It is a tragic story filled with a strong sense of pessimism, depression and hopelessness but written in a good way, i.e. not overly melo-dramatic.
A brilliant novel. Maybe just don't read it when you are looking for something happy and uplifting.


Shelley said...

This book left quite an impression on me when I read it in high school. I remember parts of it vividly. I have wanted to reread it as an adult and see what I think of it now.

Thoughts of Joy said...

I've never read this, but hope to this year. It's been on my TBR Shelf waiting and waiting. Thanks for the heads-up on its bleak nature - I wasn't aware of that.

Trish said...

I'm planning on reading this one for the classics challenge, but I'm glad I picked up Tom Sawyer this week instead of this one (I was planning on reading this). I'm not sure I could stand the hopelessness right now. :) Maybe in a few weeks. 5/5 is pretty dang good, though!

Donna said...

I just read this book in June myself. It was bleak and dark, but very well written. It was definitely worth reading. I prefer Edith Wharton's books on her "pet" subject...the hypocrisies of upper-class society. "The Age of Innocence" and "The House of Mirth" are my favorite Wharton novels so far.

Kim said...

I just read this book for my book club. I wanted to see what other people thought so I went to other blogs to look for reviews. I thought, "I bet Jeanette has read this one," so I looked and there it was. Great review. I had a hard time describing it in my review so I just didn't. You did a great job in giving just enough info.