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Ethan Frome (Unabridged Start Publishing LLC) [Kindle Edition]

Edith Wharton
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Tragic story of wasted lives, set against a bleak New England background. A poverty-stricken New England farmer, his ailing wife and a youthful housekeeper are drawn relentlessly into a deep-rooted domestic struggle in this hauntingly grim tale of thwarted love. Considered by many to be Wharton's masterpiece.

Product Description


Edith Wharton is unique in the intimacy and sureness, not to mention the virile and satiric tone, with which she investigates this narrow and declining society (TLS)

Wharton's prose, with its menacing images of death and darkness, is superb. First published in 1911, it remains a hauntingly stark masterpiece (IRISH TIMES)


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

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 416 KB
  • Print Length: 73 pages
  • Publisher: Start Publishing LLC (30 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #346,258 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising 11 Jun. 2009
I am completely and utterly in love with Edith Wharton! This is the second of her books that I have read in as many weeks and I don't know what kept me from her for so long.

Looking back through some of the reviews of Ethan Frome there appears to be a love/hate divide going on. I LOVED it! Wharton has the most amazing talent to pull me right into her stories as though I am there right with the characters. Starkfield - brilliant name for such a place; it was just that - freezing, barron, snow-covered, lonely. But this is quite possibly one of the most romantic love-stories I have ever read: it's so real you can almost touch it. It's tangible and it's tragic.

This book, despite the fact that it's only 100 pages long, took me a couple of days to read. I just had to savour every word and re-read passages over again. It's so rare that this happens but I just know it's going to be one I think about often and will re-read again (and again.)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Edith Wharton book
Book was recommended to a book club. Really enjoyed the descriptive passages. Ethan was a gentleman with a lonely life.
Published 14 months ago by Irene Chenery
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable...
One of my all-time favourite novels, this beautifully written, spare tale of wasted lives and lost dreams has stayed with me for many years. Read more
Published on 22 Sept. 2011 by Owlbear2008
4.0 out of 5 stars Ethan Frome is a man you will feel sorry for
Very sad and depressing book. But this is not Edith Wharton's best work, I enjoyed the age of innocence better. Read more
Published on 12 Jun. 2010 by Modupe Oriyomi
4.0 out of 5 stars American classic
This is a brilliant short story, perfectly pitched, by one of the USA's best authors. It has a resonance that goes far beyond the main narrative, and some beautiful lyrical... Read more
Published on 28 May 2009 by Lucy McGough
4.0 out of 5 stars We shall neve rbe alone again like this
Edith Wharton filled her novels with a feeling of ruin, passion and restriction. People can fall in love, but rarely do things turn out well. Read more
Published on 16 Jan. 2009 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars We shall never again be alone like this
Edith Wharton filled her novels with a feeling of ruin, passion and restriction. People can fall in love, but rarely do things turn out well. Read more
Published on 29 July 2008 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful insight into human emotions
I love this book..when it first arrived i was a bit disappointed because it looked so short (hundred and so pages) but it's pure quality and evokes such a amazing atmosphere of... Read more
Published on 12 July 2008 by mrs_t
5.0 out of 5 stars A Heartbreaking Tale of Passion.
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. Read more
Published on 8 Feb. 2000 by J. Wright
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