Sometimes a story that seems so simple at first can turn out to be surprisingly deep or twisted at the end.Those kinds of stories are always the most fun to pick apart.
I started Ethan Frome when we were in Austin, since it was next in my Kindle and we were killing time at the hotel before dinner. I didn’t get very far though, and the introduction seemed very dark. Not such a great vacation read.
However, when I picked it back up on Tuesday, I was quite delighted to find it was a quick little American Gothic novella–only about 140 pages–and aside from the narrator, just three real characters.
Poor farmer Ethan Frome lives with his wife Zeena, who is a hypochondriac. Her cousin Mattie (Matt) comes to stay on, and Ethan quickly becomes enraptured with her. He fantasizes ways to be with Matt, but cannot close the deal, and Zeena knowingly tries to drive Matt away.
As I mentioned before, the prologue is very dark. The narrator sets up Ethan’s current life and personality as very haunting and mysterious in a cold, wintry Massachusetts town. Once the real story begins, however, the chapters fly by, and are very simplistic–as if Ethan Frome is remembering. There’s a definitive difference between the two styles.
I can’t tell you the ending. But it’s worth noting that I screamed. So much for a simple book, huh?
Fulfills Boxall #94