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.