Ethan Frome

By Edith Wharton
Read by C. M. Hébert

3.68 Hours 07/01/1997 unabridged
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Often regarded as Edith Wharton’s finest achievement, Ethan Frome contrasts sharply with her usual ironic contemplation of fashionable New York society. Set in the bleak winter landscape of New England farmlands, this keenly-etched portrait of the simple inhabitants of a nineteenth-century village is a masterpiece of literary realism. Ethan is a patient, rough-hewn man tormented by a passionate love for his sickly wife’s young cousin, Mattie, who has come to offer her domestic services. Restricted by the bonds of marriage—however loveless it may be—and the fear of public condemnation, Ethan’s desperate quest for happiness leads ultimately to pain and despair. Ethan’s story, with its tragic implications of what might have been, has held irresistible fascination for readers for over a century. The tale of a decent man’s fall brought on by his finest feelings is a haunting study of the human conflict between desire and duty.

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Summary

Summary

Often regarded as Edith Wharton’s finest achievement, Ethan Frome contrasts sharply with her usual ironic contemplation of fashionable New York society. Set in the bleak winter landscape of New England farmlands, this keenly-etched portrait of the simple inhabitants of a nineteenth-century village is a masterpiece of literary realism.

Ethan is a patient, rough-hewn man tormented by a passionate love for his sickly wife’s young cousin, Mattie, who has come to offer her domestic services. Restricted by the bonds of marriage—however loveless it may be—and the fear of public condemnation, Ethan’s desperate quest for happiness leads ultimately to pain and despair.

Ethan’s story, with its tragic implications of what might have been, has held irresistible fascination for readers for over a century. The tale of a decent man’s fall brought on by his finest feelings is a haunting study of the human conflict between desire and duty.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A compelling and haunting story.” New York Times
“Wharton’s characters leap out from the pages and…become very real. You know their hearts, souls and yearnings, and the price they pay for those yearnings.” San Francisco Examiner
 “As moral as the classic fairy tale.” Elizabeth Ammons is professor of English and American studies at Tufts University
“An innovative insight into incompatability, and as such something of a breakthrough. Edith Wharton was in many ways ahead of her time.…In Ethan Frome she made her mark as an atypical and uncompromising psychologist. It is in many ways her most fearless novel.” Telegraph (London)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton (1862–1937) was born in New York and is best known for her stories of life among the upper-class society into which she was born. She was educated privately at home and in Europe. In 1894 she began writing fiction, and her novel The House of Mirth established her as a leading writer. Her novels The Age of Innocence and Old New York were each awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She was the first woman to receive that honor. In 1929 she was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 3.68
Audience: Adult
Language: English