Ethan Frome, a lonely and downtrodden farmer, lives alone with his sickly, judgmental wife Zeena and her cousin Mattie, who helps around the house. Ethan and Mattie have feelings for one another, but are trapped in the hopelessness of their situation. When Zeena becomes suspicious and threatens to send Mattie away, Ethan takes matters into his own hands, propelling himself and Mattie down a snowhill and towards their fate.
Considered by many to be Edith Wharton’s masterpiece, Ethan Frome departs from other novels like The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence in its exclusion of the upper classes. Wharton is believed to have based the novel on a real-life sledding accident that she heard about in Lenox, Massachusetts. Ethan Frome was adapted for film in 1993, starring Liam Neeson as Ethan Frome.
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