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Ethan Frome and Other Short Fiction Ethan Frome and Other Short Fiction Ethan Frome and Other Short Fiction

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  14,325 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
On a bleak New England farm, a taciturn young man has resigned himself to a life of grim endurance. Bound by circumstance to a woman he cannot love, Ethan Frome is haunted by a past of lost possibilities until hiswife's orphaned cousin, Mattie Silver, arrives and he is tempted to make one final, desperate effort to escape his fate. In language that is spare, passionate, an ...more
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Published September 25th 2007 by Bantam Classics (first published 1911)
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Amber
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sadness. The ultimate feeling I have upon leaving behind Ethan Frome is one of infinite sadness. Sadness for people stuck - stuck in poverty, stuck in relationships that lack even friendliness, let alone love, stuck in a life they can never leave behind. To watch the transformation of Ethan and Mattie from people filled with such passion to people so broken and alone filled me with such an ache.

That's the kind of story Ethan Frome is - one that leaves me aching. Aching with sadness for happiness
...more
Kris
Aug 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ethan Frome is probably the most depressing of her stories, although that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. Sad but memorable.

The short stories that accompany the Frome novella range from OK to hysterical (Xingu being the best - one of the best things I've ever read of Wharton's).
Andreea
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, 1001-books, 2015
I liked Ethan Frome and Xingu.
Dawn
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Ethan Frome - five stars
The Touchstone -- two stars
The Last Asset -- three stars
Xingu -- two stars
The Other Two -- three stars
Brandon O'Neill
Ethan Frome itself would get 5 stars from me. One of my favorite stories of all time. The other 4 stories here were OK - very different in tone and depth. Nothing great.
Laurie
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Time to re-read and re-assess
C.T.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More entertaining to listen on Librivox this time than read it with these weary eyes.
Leslie
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book on my kindle when I was looking for something to read. I had heard of this novel, and read others by Edith Wharton, but had little idea about the length or plot. I enjoyed the surprise and if you are not familiar with the plot and intend to read this, I recommend you stop reading reviews and instead commence reading the actual story. My review continues below.



***********
Ethan Frome is an approximately 100-page novella, and even while there was much foreshadowing and a certain p
...more
Melissa
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
"In its spare, chilling re-creation of rural isolation, hardscrabble poverty, and wintry landscape . . . Ethan Frome overwhelms the reader as a drama of irresistible necessity." —Alfred Kazin

Of all the imaginative literature I've read, this story has always captivated me the most. I read this book twice every year with students, and it's always a pleasure. They never fail to grasp how much "bang for the buck" is in this novella: the rich symbols, the beauty of unity, the parallel passages, the r
...more
Lisa Powell
Content concerns an extramarital romance, good overall portrayal but potentially a bit sordid. Might read with Cather's "Oh! Pioneers" for a rounded view.
William Galaini
Yeah ... I gave this one another go recently and I still hated it. Despite being fairly well-written with some pleasant narrative variety, I couldn't change my mind about the meager quality of the themes, story, and nihilistic approach to human misery.

Here's why:

Ethan Frome is a weak man with poor decision making tendencies. He has zero trust in his feelings, his personal worth, and absolutely no sense of agency over his life. He is the protagonist of our story, having married a horrid shrew of
...more
Jennifer
May 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My appreciation for the writing of Edith Wharton continues to grow. This book displays quite a range. While House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence both portray things from the uppercrust vantage point, she has no problem inhabiting the character of a poor New England farmer. She inhabits both male and female characters. She is the mistress of portraying subtle flashes of a character.

Ethan Frome was heart-rending but still managed to contain a surprise I didn't expect...even if the surprise was
...more
Ann
Dec 13, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm on an Edith Wharton kick...well, I've always been on an Edith Wharton kick. Anyway, this is a small volume of her short fiction. Ethan Frome, her best known novelette, is the lead story. It is excellent as it evokes winter's isolation and the poverty of the Lenox area, where Edith built her famous house, The Mount.

As an aside, we visited The Mount about seven or eight years ago and toured the exquisite gardens. (Edith was, among so many other things, a professional classic garden historian.
...more
Rut
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ethan Frome left shocked. Just yesterday, I was marvelled with the enchantment of the lonely world Edith Wharton had driven me to and thought "what a beautiful way of telling this story!"
As it is known, Ethan Frome is a tragic narration about two, or perhaps it should be said, three people. The descriptions of these characters, their adventures and misadventures, their feelings and strange relationships are so touching and yet realistic.
First one is wondering at the tragic web of events surrou
...more
Jessica
Feb 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Edith Wharton novel, another entry in my "This made me want to shoot myself (in a good way)" diary! Honestly, Ethan Frome itself is my least favorite thing I've read by her, but the short stories "The Pretext" and "Xingu" are so fantastic, and in such different ways. I was devastated and heartbroken by "The Pretext"; I giggled all the way through "Xingu", and completely cracked up at one point. I liked the other stories in this edition also, and as for Ethan Frome itself: to say it's my ...more
Allison Berryhill
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeweleye
Jun 21, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol
This classic novella by Ethan Wharton is a beautifully written tale of one man's hopes for love in a world that offers him few choices in his life. One lesson that it teaches us is that we can never know another person's pain without knowing their history, which is clearly illustrated through Wharton's decision to use the point of view of a nameless narrator. But the main premise of Ethan Frome is that life is sometimes as harsh and long as a New England winter...

Please note that I don't use the
...more
Martin
Oct 17, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm probably being unfair in my rating of this book. Usually, I'm much more modest in devaluating the worth of what has been claimed as a classic. Who am I to swim against the current of expert opinion? But I read it years ago told that it was a modern tragedy. But tragedy, for me, has to prepare a protagonist to face an inevetible downfall. I just didn't believe in the inevetible in this story just like I didn't for the awful "Dead Poets Society" - I'm a poor rich kid who's daddy won't let me a ...more
Maali
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patricia
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually have a Kindle Edition of "The Complete Works of Edith Wharton" So I am immersed. And impressed. And confused, since I now have read so many stories about repressed and beautiful and wealthy and frustrated and....Well it is interesting that both Ethan Frome and Summer break that mold, showing poverty and 'low' society, but still give such insight into the mores of that era. So different from ours, and yet the desires, fears, losses are all the same. Human nature. I can see why they ass ...more
doug bowman
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: taught
I was really into the first part of the book. There was one brilliantly written package where Wharton describes the main character's utter awareness of how his hand is maneuvering to just engage in the slightest touch of the hand of the young girl he is fixated on. Then the book gets incredibly clumsy, like some bad Flintstones episode

Re-read it in preparation for teaching it and liked it a lot better the second time
JL Smither
Sep 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who didn't like it the first time
I hated this book in high school when I read it, but rereading as an "adult" really made a huge difference. Maybe it's that I've experienced a few snowy winters now and know how crazy and depressed they can make people. Maybe it's because I know a little more about life and relationships now or because I don't read books to merely entertain me anymore. I don't know, but I have to recommend everyone who hated this in high school try re-reading it. Maybe you'll be surprised!
Calvin
Oct 17, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I get why some people might enjoy it as much but from my ninth grade perspective, all I could vaguely remember having finished this book was the complete and utter keenness the author had in describing the most minute details humanely possible.
I did enjoy the ending but the work I had gotten to get there was ridiculous. I felt no sympathy for any of the characters but hey, to each their own.
1.25/5 stars
Lisa Cambridge
I somehow skipped reading this classic in high school. After visiting Edith Wharton's home The Mount in the Berkshires I decided I needed to catch up. Now I can just imagine her sitting in her bedroom writing this in longhand. It's a quick read that gives a beautifully vivid description of life and solitude in New England in the late 1800s early 1900s. You're always waiting for the "the accident". And the end took me completely by surprise.
Megan Kelosiwang
I found these stories to be of an annoying length. I love short stories because of the typical punch I get reading them - a whole book condensed. These stories weren't short enough for punch and not long enough to become invested. So much pointlessness it made me sad and bereft without understanding why.
Sandy Voegtlen
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember the last time I read something this depressing. Not one character gets away with any shred of happiness. The novella was well written. The characters are well drawn, but not one of them is particularly likeable. I really wanted the plot to take a turn and have someone murder Ethan's wife. Who would have missed the nasty hypochondriac anyway?
Karen Mcgrail
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought I had read this before, but nope. On the one hand, awesome; on the other hand, maybe not the best choice for a night in the hospital. Disturbing and sad. Had some interesting dreams later. Think this will join The House of Mirth as books I think about when I'm sad or stressed. Glad I read it though, and loved the other books in this collection.
Jenny
Jun 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not that big of a fan of the genre or era that Wharton writes in and I found Ethan Frome to be the least compelling story in this collection. Nevertheless, at some parts I was pleasantly surprised by how unexpectedly on-point she was with her observations and I can certainly see why her stories are considered classics.
Emily White
although this is not a book that I would typically read. so I was kind b of slow passed for me. it was a very nice read. very descriptive writing. and great characters that you get attached to. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a contemporary, with some aspect of mystery.
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Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the a ...more
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“There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there’s only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. If you make up your mind not to be happy there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a fairly good time.” 586 likes
“Xingu!" she scoffed. "Why, it was the fact of our knowing so much more about it than she did—unprepared though we were—that made Osric Dane so furious. I should have thought that was plain enough to everybody!” 5 likes
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