Antof9's Reviews > Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
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's review
Jul 01, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: 2012-read, americana, animals, classic-schmasick, depressing, forgettable, bbc-barely-a-book-club, liberry
Read from July 01 to 05, 2012

I think this is one of those books that if I had read it in an English class would have been more interesting. The teacher would have pointed out all the symbolism and foreshadowing, and the class would have oohed and ahhed. Instead, I'm left with "meh".

I need a category for books like this, Great Gatsby, and Breakfast at Tiffany's. I also think I should have made my first Wharton "Age of Innocence" instead of this, but this is what book club picked :)

Just once again thankful for the library and that I didn't buy the latest book club selection!

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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Deena (new)

Deena When I saw that you were reading it I thought you were very brave. That you finished it means you're a better woman than I am.

message 2: by Antof9 (last edited Jul 06, 2012 06:22AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Antof9 Sounds like you had a similar reaction to it as I did :) I'm pretty sure I only finished it because it was for book club! (and we're meeting on Saturday)

message 3: by Deena (new)

Deena I'm not sure that even a group of peers could have gotten me through that thing...

Antof9 The great thing was that it was so short ... not that that made it better, but more palatable, I suppose.

message 5: by Deena (new)

Deena Shortened the duration of the suffering, at any rate. At several points in the last 30 years I have tried to read the standard "classics." This is one of the ones that made me question the value of that project.

message 6: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Too bad that you both didn't like that book. I read it in college, loved it, and often think of it. Beautifully written, evocative, and important. Just my opinion, of course.

Antof9 That's the thing, Maggie - I think if I'd had an instructor to lead a discussion on it, I might have liked it better. Or at least have thought more highly of it! Without that, I was just extremely "meh". We did discuss it a bit at book club, but pretty much everyone was equally "meh" on it.

You know how/when I knew I was on the wrong path with this? When I found myself questioning, "why didn't he just smother his wife with a pillow?" Having never thought that of a book before in my life, I knew there was a problem :)

message 8: by Maggie (new)

Maggie I think it helped that in my class you read the material, wrote a paper, then discussed it. Writing the paper first made you examine it witout help and gets your ideas in order. I remember that it gave me the same visceral feeling that Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre gave me. I felt like I was right there in the story, freezing in that snow.

Antof9 ooh -- interesting! I definitely got that feeling from Jane Eyre and Cold Mountain (that's the one I had to read in a hot bath; I was so cold! Jane I read on a hot camping trip, so maybe the sun at altitude was what kept me warm). Sadly, I didn't get that from this at all :( However, I do have a higher opinion of this now, just from knowing how much you liked it!

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