Friend's Email: Subject:I have found a book that I think you would enjoy
Ethan Frome: Authoritative Text Backgrounds and Contexts Criticism (Norton Critical Editions)
Ethan Frome Authoritative Text Backgrounds and Contexts Criticism - Norton Critical Editions Author:Edith Wharton, Kristin O. Lauer, Cynthia Griffin Wolff `I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.' Who is this strange man Ethan Frome? What is his dreadful secret? . . . Amidst a bleak New England winter landscape, powerful emotions lead to far-reaching consequences, when Ethan Frome struggles to break free from... more » a loveless marriage. . . Cambridge Literature is a series of study texts which presents writing in the English-speaking world from the 16th century up to the present day. The series includes novels, drama, short stories, poetry, essays and other types of non-fiction. Each edition has the complete text with an appropriate glossary. The student will find in each volume a helpful introduction and a full section of resource notes encouraging active and imaginative study methods.« less
This wonderful tale of perception, desire and despair is so much more than just a paltry romance. Wharton illustrates just how much of ourselves we project into what we see and believe about what goes on around us. I've posted and extra copy, I would never get rid of my last one!
This was a very short and rather easy read. It was also quite depressing (but still worthwhile and enjoyable). It starts from the point of view of a narrator (who is only in the first and last chapters) who is new to town and needs a way to get a ride to the train station for work, ends up hiring a disfigured, sad man named Ethan Frome to take him. The narrator becomes intrigued with why Ethan is the way he is, why he seems a bit more educated and intellectually curious compared to others in the town, and eventually he puts Ethan's story together when he ends up having to stay at Ethan's house during a terrible snow storm. The rest of the book (except the last chapter) focuses on Ethan's past, told from a third person point of view. We learn that Ethan was not always disfigured, that he attended a little college before being called home after his father died to take care of his ailing mother. He then ends up marrying Zeena, who helped care for his mother and later becomes very "sickly" herself (implied that much of her "troubles" are hypochondriac in nature). Zeena's cousin, Mattie, is hired to take care of her, and Ethan finds himself dealing with his emotions as he falls for Mattie. Ethan is rather conflicted because he wants to leave Zeena to be with Mattie, but he struggles inside with feelings of loyalty and doesn't want Zeena to suffer as a result of him leaving her (despite the fact he borders on hating her at times due to her cruel nature towards Mattie). The book deals with Ethan's internal turmoil and what he ultimately decides to do. All-in-all, it was a very worthwhile read!