Sunday, 10 February 2013

Ethan Frome

Every winter, the list of snow-set books that I haven't read yet diminishes; this is fairly self evident, as the more I read, the fewer there are to read.  Ethan Frome has long been on the list, but is no more, as I made it my first read of 2013.

It has immediately entered my Top Ten classics with a bullet.  What a beautiful, heartrending little story!  It is, simply, the tale of  a love affair that cannot be, set deep in a turn of the century Massachusetts winter.  It's a gorgeous snowglobe of a tale, perfectly self-contained, with an impending air of tragedy from the very beginning.  Wharton draws her main characters so thoroughly and subtley that once met, they will never leave you.  Even now, my stomach lurches as I think of poor Mattie, and of the unecessary horror that is the way Ethan's life turns out, and I have an overwelming urge to re-write the ending!

I would recommend taking the few evenings it needs to read this novella - it is truly one that will enrich your life.

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