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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

ETHAN FROME by Edith Wharton



Edith Wharton (1862-1937)
Originally published in 1911.

Way back in high school in the 1980's I had to read Ethan Frome. I didn't remember anything about it except that it is set in New England and it involved an accident in the snow (no spoilers - this is laid in the first four paragraphs).

I decided to revisit this book and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Ethan Frome is a New England farmer who limps around town due to a 24 year old injury. He is sad man who almost never has visitors to his struggling farm. He makes up the difference by doing odd jobs, such as ferrying visitors around. The narrator of this book tells us the story of Ethan Frome, as it was told to him (or her?) by Ethan Frome himself when the narrator was forced to stay the night in the Frome house during a terrible snowstorm.

This is a story of regret, love, temptation and obligations. I have no idea why we read this book in high school because there is simply no way that a high school reader would be able to identify with the situations in the book - an older person who has experienced the ups and downs of life can empathize with Ethan Frome even if he or she wouldn't have made the same choices. 

I found the book to be very interesting. Actually it turned out to be a real page-turner for me, much to my surprise. I have had this book in my to-be-read pile for a long time and I picked it just to get it out of the pile only to find out that it was a great book.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

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