“We never got away- how should you? Seemed to be written on every headstone.”
Let me start by saying, this is my very first Wharton. I planned on reading “The Age of Innocence” but chose this as a shorter route into her writing. Ethan Frome is a classic that didn’t quite hit a classical note for me. It’s dark but not dark in the gothic-esque way that appeals to me. It’s very short and lacking a lot of depth. Ethan is married out of a sense of duty to a very infuriating woman. In fact, his wife irritates me to no end. If her mouth is open she is complaining, being unkind or just flat out manipulative. It is no shock that he turns to her cousin for solace when she is sent to live on their farm. Ethan and Mattie, who do not even venture to kiss until they are agreeing to commit suicide instead of part ways, make an almost too easy couple for me. It’s not that I expected this outcome all along but it’s just not a wow factor for me. It’s been done. Although, I’m sure in 1911 this subject matter and her writing was a bit ahead of the times. Without spoiling the entire outcome, the ending does provide some justice to the story.