01 September 2012

Ethan Frome ~ Edith Wharton

*** LIKE ***

Pre trip reading - a short one to start with!
Cold climate, cold story.

 This is really a novella.  Short.  Astute.  Cold and clear as a winter's nights.

As a precursor to our New England Road Trip, it didn't exactly instil a sense of "can't wait to get there"!  (Plan to visit The Mount in Lenox, MA, home of, and designed by, Wharton.)

The setting is Starkfield ... perfectly named.  While the village, its inhabitants and community life had rustic appeal, the weather was bleak, as were the central characters ... a whining and manipulative "sickly" wife, a forlorn hard-done-by young girl, and a tormented unfulfilled husband.  The story is depressing ...  exactly what the pitch and timbre of the writing aims for.  A perfectly painted and perfectly executed melodrama ... a good read, but not a joy to read!

First woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1921 (The Age of Innocence)