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Published in 1911, the book centres on Frome's loveless marriage to his sick wife Zeena. They live in the farmlands of Massachusetts. When Zeena's younger cousin Mattie Silver stays with him and his wife, Ethan obsessively falls in love with her. Wharton's narrative is driven by flashback sequences and comments on the social ironies of the day. Wharton's book the Age of Innocence later won her...
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Ethan Frome was a hard-working farmer whose farm was not producing well. Ethan's wife, Zeena, was always feeling as if she had ailments and wasn't much company to him. They took in her cousin, Mattie, to give her a place to stay, but eventually Ethan and Mattie fell in love. When Zeena was encouraged by a doctor to hire someone so that she didn't have to do anything herself, she hired a girl and arranged to send Mattie away. Ethan and Mattie despaired that they would never see each other again. There's quite an interesting twist at the end of this story.
Jun 4th, 2020
What a little gem!!!! So very sad...so very impactful!
Jan 5th, 2018
Ethan Frome is a love story but one of the saddest love stories I have ever read. It is not pathetic or overly sentimental - it is just sad because the love between Mattie and Ethan just feels 'true' but the poverty of their situations means there is no hope - he doesn't even have enough money for them to run away together. The vindictiveness and meaness of Ethan's wife makes you suck your breath in that someone could be so unfeeling of others but then she is working to protect what she has - not necessarily what she loves. And yes there is a twist in the tail.
Jan 28th, 2015
Sep 16th, 2014
I really enjoyed this book, I found it interesting and hard to put down towards the second half. As someone has mentioned in a previous review, the ending was a total surprise. Recommended, especially for those who like a good love story.
Mar 15th, 2014
I can't talk too much about why I had to drag myself through this book without spoiling it, but I will say that it was full of miserable characters that I hated. It was well-written, but I just wanted it to stop.
Jan 13th, 2014
Slim volume that kept me riveted. Characters were well developed. Ending was a surprise; never saw it coming.
Dec 1st, 2013
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