This is a marvelous compilation of Edith Wharton's personal correspondences regarding Ethan Frome; the text itself dotted with footnotes that explain term derivations and inspirations; articles on female hysteria and the hardships of working women in early 20th century Boston, and criticisms of the story then and now. Many critics found the author cruel, and the story morbidly somber. I, nevertheless, felt sufficiently removed from the story’s miseries by the narrator, an outsider who evokes empathy with compassion rather than with the sources of its requirement. This left me plenty of space to be mesmerized by the moving descriptions of winter’s wonderland, and the contrast of characters who play across it.
Leatherby Libraries Call Number: PS3545.H16 E7 1995
2nd Floor Humanities Library
Review submitted by: Tracie Hall, Librarian, Law Library