Fiction: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Cover of Ethan FromeEdith Wharton, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, tells the fascinating yet depressing tale of a man with a devastating story in Ethan Frome. An unnamed narrator meets Ethan Frome in New England, describing him as, “[seeming] a part of the mute melancholy landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe.” Curious by the crippled and depressed man, the narrator digs into Ethan’s past to discover a tragic story of love and duty. The narrator easily falls into Frome’s story, attempting to discern the muddled motivations of flawed characters in impossible circumstances. Tinged with foreboding, Wharton plays with the hopes and dreams of her characters and readers in this accessible classic.