I'll admit that, if I'd had Mrs. Lake to give me assignments on Ethan Frome
, I probably would have liked it more. My real rating is 1.5 stars.
One thing I enjoyed every now and then was the description. Most of the imagery felt unique and gave me a clear idea of the characters' surroundings. However, this came with a price called "purple prose" or, sometimes, just too much description in general. For example: every freaking movement of Mattie's eyelashes was a dramatic marvel worth spending a sentence and six commas on. Actually, it seemed everything was a dramatic marvel worth spending several sentences
on. *headdesk* Show me a man--nay, a person who pays that much attention to their lover's eye lashes, and I will give you five dollars. Some people praise the book for its realism, and while I agree on most accounts, I couldn't quite get past that.
The prologue was 26 pages in my edition. For the entire 26 pages, I had no idea who was talking to me. No name, no gender. I guess the last scene is more powerful from the perspective of someone other than Ethan, but that ticked me off.
Now, put Ethan Frome
out of your mind. Picture the following: A man falls in love with a girl who is the equivalent of his maid. Alas, they cannot be together because the man is married to another, much less desirable woman. The man has no way to get out of his unfortunate marriage. Sound familiar? The novel felt like a slight rip-off of Jane Eyre
, which was published years before Edith Wharton was even born. Not to say Wharton plagiarized or anything. That sort of thing happens a lot in the writing world. Still, I'll take Jane Eyre
over Ethan Frome
I haven't listed all of my issues with Ethan Frome
, but I've said the major ones. And I'd rather write an angry rant about a novel that is a real abomination to mankind than complain about this one, which is just mildly irritating and boring.