Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

"Ethan Frome works his unproductive farm and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his difficult, suspicious, and hypochondriac wife, Zeena. But when Zeena's vivacious cousin enters their household as a "hired girl", Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and with the possibilities for happiness she comes to represent. 

In one of American fiction's finest and most intense narratives, Edith Wharton moves this ill-starred trio toward their tragic destinies. Different in both tone and theme from Wharton's other works, Ethan Frome has become perhaps her most enduring and most widely read novel."

Well. If you're looking for a feel-good Thanksgiving break book, this isn't it. Part of the main theme is bringing out harsh winters that suck the happiness and life out of people, so that's fun. It's a bit of a confounding book, all the way through. That's not to say that it's uninteresting, just definitely needing some extra patience and consideration. It's got a mine of literary angles to it, what with ironic twists and kinda depressing character flaws and such. And there's a definitely ironic ending, so if you like those this may appeal to you. Keep in mind, though: it isn't the type of "karma via irony" where everyone gets what's due to them and lives happily ever after or meets justice or whatever. There isn't much black and white in this book, and there definitely aren't any happy endings. That said, I'll remind you that it's a very literary book and has a lot of depth and thoughtfulness to it. It wasn't exactly a book I was tripping over myself to keep reading, but I'm glad I did. Honestly, I think you kind of have to decide for yourself on this one. It's a bit polarizing. There's a copy at SHS, MEHS, and Kettleson.

No comments:

Post a Comment