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Ethan Frome [with Biographical Introduction]

Ethan Frome [with Biographical Introduction] [Kindle Edition]

Edith Wharton
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description


with each volume having an introduction by an acknowledged expert, and exhaustive notes, the World's Classics are surely the most desirable series and, all-round, the best value for money Oxford Times This love story has an emotional intensity made all the more poignant by the inarticulate reticence of Wharton's characters - a menage a trois consisting of Frome, his querulous wife and her young girl cousin. With quiet assurance, Wharton conveys passion, malaise and tragedy with memorable impact. Sophia Sackville-West, Evening Standard (London) Ethan Frome is one of Edith Wharton's most famous novels and rightly so. It is exquisitely written by an author with remarkable observation and imagination. Ethan Frome is a novel which extinguishes hope and blows away happiness but it is so powerful as an analysis of waste that it is nothing short of a masterpiece. Madeleine Burton, Herts Advertiser


'Wharton's prose, with its menacing images of death and darkness, is superb...'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 225 KB
  • Print Length: 73 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1846376424
  • Publisher: (30 Mar 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1CFU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #378,288 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tragic novel of illicit love. 8 Dec 1998
By A Customer
Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton is one of the most tragic novels I have ever read. Although it was tragic, it left a major impact on me, like most tragic novels do. I never thought I would encounter another book as depressing as Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, but Ethan Frome most certainly was. This novel expresses the power of love and what love will do to one's actions. The actions of the two main characters, Ethan Frome and Mattie Silver may appear shocking and foolish to the reader, but eventually the reader can acknowledge the fact that love makes one desperate; desperate enough to what ever it takes to attain love. This is a story of a simple man who desperately wants true love, but who eventually realizes love is hopeless. Ethan Frome's love for Mattie Silver causes the two to partake in an unthinkable act. I would love to share the ending of this novel, but it's an experience one should do on their own. Read this book and it will leave an impact on you and when you look back at this book you will almost feel the pain and isolation of the two characters. Alfred Kazin once stated, "For love to really be love, it must be forbidden, it must fail, it must carry the doomed lovers down with it." Edith Wharton uses this theme, illicit love to present "a drama of irresistible necessity."
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great American classic 22 Dec 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ethan Frome is a farmer in Starkfield, Massachusetts, at the beginning of the 20th century. He is unhappily married to Zenobia (Zeena), a suspicious, hypochondriac, bitter, narrow-minded, ignorant and discontented woman. He is strongly attracted to Zeena's cousin Mattie Silver who shares their household and is entrusted with all the chores which Zeena refuses to do. Ethan's tragic fate begins when Zeena peremptorily decides that they need a "hired girl" which would of course imply Mattie's departure since the Fromes don't have the means to employ two girls.
A novel of great intensity with its slow developing tragedy and characters plunging towards their destiny. The author's masterful economy of language vividly renders the oppressive "silent ache" that permanently hinders communication between Ethan and Zeena. The vision of the three main characters is done in an almost cinematic way as they are trapped indoors in the severe Massachusetts winter. The narrative pattern is original too since the whole plot is told by an unnamed narrator who met the taciturn Ethan many years after the events he is about to tell us. The reader has moments of doubt when the narrator tells a story in all details and long passages of dialogue he could not possibly have known or heard during his meeting with Ethan. But Edith Wharton's extraordinary craft makes the story break away from the contingencies of the frame and it comes to moving life for the reader. A superb novel, one of the finest and most intense narratives in the history of American literature.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short But Not So Sweet 12 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This novelette by Edith Wharton is cleverly written and packed with effective literary devices to liven up the plot. Not that the scheme needs any livening up though, as at times, it seems like a soap opera. The is romance in the air and the husband and wife have a very stressful marriage. There are three characters who are linked in complex ways and share a variety of relationships within the household. First there is the title male figure, Ethan Frome, who is married to Zenobia(Zeena) Frome. They live on a small, isolated farm in northern New England. After Ethan's mother passes away, he marries Zeena who ironically, falls ill shortly after. The reader, trough careful observation, deciphers that Zeena's sickness is really hypochondia. But she hold the power in the household and the couple takes in Mattie Silver, a distant cousin of Zeena's. The beautiful, wintery imagery surrounds a love story that is out of the ordinary. Ethan gets to know Mattie, and he falls in love with her vivaciousness and gay inner spirit. As the story progresses, the reader notices the heightened contrast between the young, warm-hearted Mattie and the old, crotechty Zeena. Ethan digs himself into deeper moral isolation. Symbolism plays an active role in the story and allows the reader to understand the emotions through tangible objects. For example, a slinky cat and a unique glass pickle dish crop up as tangible reminders of the mental games. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a crippling and surprising ending. It is not what you expect and I really cannot give away what happened Mattie and Zeena.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Once again, Wharton returns to the inexhaustible subject of sexual love. This is a gripping and poignant story of an intense, forbidden but overpowering passion set against the murderous cold of a New England winter. Vivid, atmospheric, and full of Wharton's insights into the mysteries of the human heart. (I never give 5 stars, but I give this 4.)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Heartbreaking Tale of Passion. 8 Feb 2000
The short story of an illicit love affair between the introspective Ethan Frome and the bright and vivacious, Mattie Silver, is beautifully told and thoroughly absorbing. 'Ethan Frome' is Edith Wharton's most fondly remembered work, and upon reading the story, it is easy to see why. It is an endearing and poignant tale, full of repressed sexuality and emotion. The suffocating community of Starkfield is our setting from which lovers Mattie and Ethan have to escape if they are to be together forever. Unfortunatley, the desire to escape is pure fantasy, as revealed by the novel's shockingly dramatic conclusion. It seems that residents of Starkfield are fated to stay there for eternity. 'Ethan Frome' is a beautiful and memorable tale. The setting is so romantically and evocatively described by Wharton that we almost feel part of the doomed romance. Equally, Ethan's feelings are so astutely and accurately described that what we are left with is a strikingly realistic character. I cannot imagine anyone who would not fall in love with this book.
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Popular Highlights

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it would not have happened if his mother had died in spring instead of winter... &quote;
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But now, as he stood outside the church, and saw Mattie spinning down the floor with Denis Eady, a throng of disregarded hints and menaces wove their cloud about his &quote;
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"We never got away—how should you?" seemed to be written on every headstone; and whenever he went in or out of his gate he thought with a shiver: "I shall just go on living here till I join them." But &quote;
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