Ethan Frome. Finished 9-30-16, rating 5/5, classics, 181 pages, pub. 1911
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 novel. from Goodreads
I’m amazed at how much Wharton was able to accomplish in such a slim novel. I think I saw the previews for the last Ethan Frome movie that came out in the 90’s and thought it looked so boring. The barren earth with unhappy people didn’t really inspire, but once I started reading this I was hooked.
The narrator of the story meets Ethan after the bulk of the story takes place and what a story of unhappiness to tell. Don’t let that scare you off though. Sit down with a cup of tea on a chilly day and read it all in one sitting. It will make an impact. Loved it.
This was my 11th selection for the Classics Club and I need to pick up the pace if I hope to finish 50 by 2020!