Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Classics Circuit Tour: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Book: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Genre: Classic
Rating: A-

I've previously enjoyed several Edith Wharton (1862-1937) books, namely The House of Mirth, The Age of Innocence, Summer and The Custom of the Country, all very good. My favorite of the list being The House of Mirth. Tragic! So with this past month being her turn to circulate through some blogs for The Classics Circuit, I thought I would take the chance to read Ethan Frome, a short Edith Wharton novella that I've had sitting here on the TBR for some time.

The story of Ethan Frome is a very simple one. Very sad, and very simple. We flashback to learn how Ethan was caught up in a life he didn't ask for, a life trapped in small town where he had to first take care of his ailing parents, and then his ailing wife. This wife he married on impulse as a very young and lonely man. It was a marriage where no love was involved. Years later, when his wife's distant cousin comes to stay, he learns what love is. But at what cost will he pay to pres
erve it?

I enjoyed this quick and short story, even with it's tragic characters. You know I love the passionate tragedies! All of Wharton's stories seem to excel in this area, so if you also enjoy them, it's time for you to try one of her books.

There's not much else to say about this particular novel. If you are new to Edith Wharton, I would NOT start with this one, as it's quite different from what she is well known for, tragedy aside, which is social mores and issues. Try The Age of Innocence or The House of Mirth first.

My copy of this book also includes several of her short stories, which I hope to have time for some day! But I'm sorry to say I didn't get to them for purposes of this particular blog t


  1. I think I should probably start with Ethan Fromme for a Wharton read. I started Age of Innocence some years ago but it just didn't hold my attention.

  2. I read glimpses of the moon by her last year, but wasn't a big fan of the story. Maybe this one, or one of her others might be better.

  3. I read The Age of Innocence ags ago and really liked it, so I'm up for trying Ethan Frome. Oddly enough, I don't think I have a copy on my stacks. Weird!

  4. Wharton's writing to so amazing; I could so vividly imaging Ethan's life.

  5. I stopped by your blog today. Thanks for the great review.

  6. Yeay! I'm glad it's such a rewarding tragic read, as I'm reading for a book club in a few months. I'm looking forward to it.

    Thanks for the review.

  7. I actually have The House of Mirth on DVD, but sadly have not yet viewed it. I'm wondering if I'll have better luck in reading Edith Wharton before I view one of the films based on her books. I did not know she wrote short stories. :)



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