Thursday, September 29, 2011
Ethan Frome -by Edith Wharton
Ethan Frome is a 1911 novel by Edith Wharton, who is one of those classic authors who has never been forgotten and who seems to be more in favor these days. (See my previous blogHouse of Mirth.) (US Edition) (UK Edition) on her novel,
It is a short novel, almost novella length, that has had several movie adaptations.
I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
If you know Starkfield, Massachusetts, you know the post-office. If you know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
Very satisfying first sentence!
"He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up; and that's twenty-four years ago come next February," Harmon threw out between reminiscent pauses.
[I cut a section out here]
"More'n enough to kill most men. But the Fromes are tough. Ethan'll likely touch a hundred."
"Good God!" I exclaimed. At the moment Ethan Frome, after climbing to his seat, had leaned over to assure himself of the security of a wooden box—also with a druggist's label on it—which he had placed in the back of the buggy, and I saw his face as it probably looked when he thought himself alone. "That man touch a hundred? He looks as if he was dead and in hell now!"
I find this beginning rather gothic. I don’t think it is going to be a cheery, uplifting novel, but you do not look for that from Ms. Wharton.Tweet this!
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Posted by Marilyn Litt at 2:04 PM