Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome

by Edith Wharton

Hardcover(Large Print Edition)

$29.95 View All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

The setting for this piercing New England novel is the aptly named Starkfield, where, despite violently blue skies, the chill of cold and snow seems to have settled in the hearts of its inhabitants. Tethered to his farm, first by helpless parents, later by his querulous, hypochondriac wife Zeena, Ethan Frome ekes out a living. Then Zeena’s cousin, the impoverished and enchanting Mattie Silver, comes to work for them, and Ethan’s hopes and dreams are rekindled. Yet theirs is a forbidden love, constrained by Zeena’s presence. And the impossible intensity in which the three exist will have devastating consequences for all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780783896700
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 01/28/2002
Edition description: Large Print Edition
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

The upper stratum of New York society into which Edith Wharton was born in 1862 provided her with an abundance of material as a novelist but did not encourage her growth as an artist. Educated by tutors and governesses, she was raised for only one career: marriage. But her marriage, in 1885, to Edward Wharton was an emotional disappointment, if not a disaster. She suffered the first of a series of nervous breakdowns in 1894. In spite of the strain of her marriage, or perhaps because of it, she began to write fiction and published her first story in 1889.Her first published book was a guide to interior decorating, but this was followed by several novels and story collections. They were written while the Whartons lived in Newport and New York, traveled in Europe, and built their grand home, the Mount, in Lenox, Massachusetts. In Europe, she met Henry James, who became her good friend, traveling companion, and the sternest but most careful critic of her fiction. The House of Mirth (1905) was both a resounding critical success and a bestseller, as was Ethan Frome (1911). In 1913 the Whartons were divorced, and Edith took up permanent residence in France. Her subject, however, remained America, especially the moneyed New York of her youth. Her great satiric novel, The Custom of the Country was published in 1913 and The Age of Innocence won her the Pulitzer Prize in 1921.In her later years, she enjoyed the admiration of a new generation of writers, including Sinclair Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In all, she wrote some 30 books, including an autobiography, A Backward Glance (1934). She died at her villa near Paris in 1937.

Anita Shreve was a high school teacher and a freelance magazine journalist before writing fiction full time. She is the author over fifteen novels including The Stars Are Fire as well as the international bestseller The Pilot's Wife, and The Weight of the Water, a finalist for the Orange Prize. Shreve teaches writing at Amherst College and lives in Massachusetts.

Susanna Moore is the author of the novels The Life of Objects, The Big Girls, One Last Look, In the Cut, Sleeping Beauties, The Whiteness of Bones, and My Old Sweetheart, and two books of nonfiction, Light Years: A Girlhood in Hawai’i and I Myself Have Seen It: The Myth of Hawai’i. She lives in New York City.

Date of Birth:

January 24, 1862

Date of Death:

August 11, 1937

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Place of Death:

Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt, France

Education:

Educated privately in New York and Europe

Read an Excerpt

I.

The village lay under two feet of snow, with drifts at thewindy corners. In a sky of iron the points of the Dipper hung like icicles and Orion flashed his cold fires. The moon had set, but the night was sotransparent that the white house-fronts between the elms looked grey against the snow, clumps of bushes made black stains on it, and the basement windows ofthe church sent shafts of yellow light far across the endless undulations.

Young Ethan Frome walked at a quick pace along the desertedstreet, past the bank and Michael Eady’s new brick store and Lawyer Varnum’shouse with the two black Norway spruces at the gate. Opposite the Varnum gate,where the road fell away toward the Corbury valley, the church reared its slimwhite steeple and narrow peristyle. As the young man walked toward it the upperwindows drew a black arcade along the side wall of the building, but from thelower openings, on the side where the ground sloped steeply down to the Corburyroad, the light shot its long bars, illuminating many fresh furrows in thetrack leading to the basement door, and showing, under an adjoining shed, aline of sleighs with heavily blanketed horses.

The night was perfectly still, and the air so dry and purethat it gave little sensation of cold. The effect produced on Frome was ratherof a complete absence of atmosphere, as though nothing less tenuous than etherintervened between the white earth under his feet and the metallic domeoverhead. ‘It’s like being in an exhausted receiver,’ he thought. Four or five years earlier he had taken a year’s course at a technological college at Worcester, and dabbled in the laboratory with a friendly professor of physics; and the images supplied by that experience still cropped up, at unexpectedmoments, through the totally different associations of thought in which he hadsince been living. His father’s death, and the misfortunes following it, had put a premature end to Ethan’s studies; but though they had not gone far enoughto be of much practical use they had fed his fancy and made him aware of hugecloudy meanings behind the daily face of things.

As he strode along through the snow the sense of such meanings glowed in his brain and mingled with the bodily flush produced by his sharptramp. At the end of the village he paused before the darkened front of the church. He stood there a moment, breathing quickly, and looking up and down the street, in which not another figure moved. The pitch of the Corbury road, below lawyer Varnum’s spruces, was the favourite coasting-ground of Stark field, andon clear evenings the church corner rang till late with the shouts of the coasters; but to-night not a sled darkened the whiteness of the long declivity. The hush of midnight lay on the village, and all its wakening life was gatheredbehind the church windows, from which strains of dance-music flowed with thebroad bands of yellow light.

The young man, skirting the side of the building, went down the slope toward the basement door. To keep out of range of the revealing raysfrom within he made a circuit through the untrodden snow and gradually approached the farther angle of the basement wall. Thence, still hugging theshadow, he edged his way cautiously forward to the nearest window, holding back his straight spare body and craning his neck till he got a glimpse of the room.

Seen thus, from the pure and frosty darkness in which hestood, it seemed to be seething in a mist of heat. The metal reflectors of the gas-jets sent crude waves of light against the whitewashed walls, and the iron flanksof the stove at the end of the hall looked as though they were heaving with volcanic fires. The floor was thronged with girls and young men. Down the sidewall facing the window stood a row of kitchen chairs from which the older womenhad just risen. By this time the music had stopped, and the musicians — a fiddler, and the young lady who played the harmonium on Sundays — were hastily refreshing themselves at one corner of the supper-table which aligned its devastated pie-dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall. The guests were preparing to leave, and the tide had already set toward the passage where coats and wraps were hung, when a young man with a sprightly foot and a shock of black hair shot into the middle of the floor and clapped his hands. The signal took instant effect. The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers — some already half-muffled for departure — fell into line down each side of the room, the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young man, after diving about here and there in thethrong, drew forth a girl who had already wound a cherry-coloured ‘fascinator’ about her head, and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.

Frome’s heart was beating fast. He had been straining for aglimpse of the dark head under the cherry-coloured scar fand it vexed him that another eye should have been quicker than his. The leader of the reel, who looked as if he had Irish blood in his veins, danced well, and his partner caught his fire. As she passed down the line, her light figure swinging from hand to hand in circles of increasing swiftness, the scarf flew off her head and stood out behind her shoulders, and Frome, at each turn, caught sight of her laughing panting lips, the cloud of dark hair about her forehead, and the dark eyes which seemed the only fixed points in a maze off lying lines.

The dancers were going faster and faster, and the musicians,to keep up with them, belaboured their instruments like jockeys lashing their mounts on the home-stretch; yet it seemed to the young man at the window that the reel would never end. Now and then he turned his eyes from the girl’s faceto that of her partner, which, in the exhilaration of the dance, had taken on alook of almost impudent ownership. Denis Eady was the son of Michael Eady, the ambitious Irish grocer, whose suppleness and effrontery had given Starkfield its first notion of ‘smart’ business methods, and whose new brick store testified to the success of the attempt. His son seemed likely to follow in his steps, and was meanwhile applying the same arts to the conquest of the Starkfield maidenhood. Hitherto Ethan Frome had been content to think him a mean fellow; but now he positively invited a horse-whipping. It was strange that the girl did not seem aware of it: that she could lift her rapt face to her dancer’s, and drop her hands into his, without appearing to feel the offence of his look and touch.

Frome was in the habit of walking into Starkfield to fetchhome his wife’s cousin, Mattie Silver, on the rare evenings when some chance of amusement drew her to the village. It was his wife who had suggested, when the girl came to live with them, that such opportunities should be put in her way. Mattie Silver came from Stamford, and when she entered the Frames’ household toact as her cousin Zeena’s aid it was thought best, as she came without pay, not to let her feel too sharp a contrast between the life she had left and the isolation of a Starkfield farm. But for this — as Frome sardonically reflected —it would hardly have occurred to Zeena to take any thought for the girl’s amusement.

When his wife first proposed that they should give Mattie an occasional evening out he had inwardly demurred at having to do the extra two miles to the village and back after his hard day on the farm; but not long afterward he had reached the point of wishing that Starkfield might give all its nights to revelry.

Mattie Silver had lived under his roof for a year, and from early morning till they met at supper he had frequent chances of seeing her; but no moments in her company were comparable to those when, her arm in his, and her light step flying to keep time with his long stride, they walked back through the night to the farm. He had taken to the girl from the first day, when he had driven over to the Flats to meet her, and she had smiled and waved to him from the train, crying out ‘You must be Ethan!’ as she jumped down withher bundles, while he reflected, looking over her slight person: ‘She don’t look much on house-work, but she ain’t a fretter, anyhow.’ But it was not only that the coming to his house of a bit of hopeful young life was like the lighting of a fire on a cold hearth. The girl was more than the bright serviceable creature he had thought her. She had an eye to see and an ear to hear: he could show her things and tell her things, and taste the bliss of feeling that all he imparted left long reverberations and echoes he could wake at will.

It was during their night walks back to the farm that he felt most intensely the sweetness of this communion. He had always been more sensitive than the people about him to the appeal of natural beauty. His unfinished studies had given form to this sensibility and even in his unhappiest moments field and sky spoke to him with a deep and powerful persuasion. But hitherto the emotion had remained in him as a silent ache, veiling with sadness the beauty that evoked it. He did not even know whether anyone else in the world felt as he did, or whether he was the sole victim of this mournful privilege. Then he learned that one other spirit had trembled with the same touch of wonder: that at his side, living under his roof andeating his bread, was a creature to whom he could say: ‘That’s Orion downyonder; the big fellow to the right is Aldebaran, and the bunch of little ones —like bees swarming — they’re the Pleiades...’ or whom he could hold entranced before a ledge of granite thrusting up through the fern while he unrolled the huge panorama of the ice age, and the long dim stretches of succeeding time.The fact that admiration for his learning mingled with Mattie’s wonder at wha the taught was not the least part of his pleasure. And there were other sensations, less definable but more exquisite, which drew them together with ashock of silent joy: the cold red of sunset behind winter hills, the flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, or the intensely blue shadows of hemlocks on sunlit snow. When she said to him once: ‘It looks just as if it waspainted!’ it seemed to Ethan that the art of definition could go no farther, and that words had at last been found to utter his secret soul....

As he stood in the darkness outside the church the sememories came back with the poignancy of vanished things. Watching Mattie whirl down the floor from hand to hand, he wondered how he could ever have thought that his dull talk interested her. To him, who was never gay but in her presence, her gaiety seemed plain proof of indifference. The face she lifted to her dancers was the same which, when she saw him, always looked like a window that has caught the sunset. He even noticed two or three gestures which, in his fatuity, he had thought she kept for him: a way of throwing her head back when she was amused, as if to taste her laugh before she let it out, and a trick of sinking her lids slowly when anything charmed or moved her.

The sight made him unhappy, and his unhappiness roused his latent fears. His wife had never shown any jealousy of Mattie, but of late she had grumbled increasingly over the house-work and found oblique ways of attracting attention to the girl’s inefficiency. Zeena had always been what Starkfield called ‘sickly’, and Frome had to admit that, if she were as ailing as she believed, she needed the help of a stronger arm than the one which lay solightly in his during the night walks to the farm. Mattie had no natural turn for house-keeping, and her training had done nothing to remedy the defect. She was quick to learn, but forgetful and dreamy, and not disposed to take the matter seriously. Ethan had an idea that if she were to marry a man she was fond of the dormant instinct would wake, and her pies and biscuits become the pride of the county; but domesticity in the abstract did not interest her. At first she was so awkward that he could not help laughing at her; but she laughed with him and that made them better friends. He did his best to supplement her unskilled efforts, getting up earlier than usual to light the kitchen fire, carrying in the wood overnight, and neglecting the mill for the farm that he might help her about the house during the day. He even crept down on Saturday nights to scrub the kitchen floor after the women had gone to bed; and Zeena, one day, had surprised him at the churn and had turned away silently, with one of her queer looks.

Of late there had been other signs of his wife’s disfavour, as intangible but more disquieting. One cold winter morning, as he dressed in the dark, his candle flickering in the draught of the ill-fitting window, he had heard her speak from the bed behind him.

‘The doctor don’t want I should be left without anybody to do for me,’ she said in her flat whine.

He had supposed her to be asleep, and the sound of her voice had startled him, though she was given to abrupt explosions of speech afterlong intervals of secretive silence.

He turned and looked at her where she lay indistinctly outlined under the dark calico quilt, her high-boned face taking a greyish tinge from the whiteness of the pillow.

‘Nobody to do for you?’ he repeated.

‘If you say you can’t afford a hired girl when Mattie goes.’

Frome turned away again, and taking up his razor stooped to catch the reflection of his stretched cheek in the blotched looking-glass above the wash-stand.

‘Why on earth should Mattie go?’

‘Well, when she gets married, I mean,’ his wife’s drawl came from behind him.

‘Oh, she’d never leave us as long as you needed her,’ he returned, scraping hard at his chin.

‘I wouldn’t ever have it said that I stood in the way of a poor girl like Mattie marrying a smart fellow like Denis Eady,’ Zeena answered in a tone of plaintive self-effacement.

Ethan, glaring at his face in the glass, threw his head back to draw the razor from ear to chin. His hand was steady, but the attitude was an excuse for not making an immediate reply.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Ethan Frome"
by .
Copyright © 2005 Edith Wharton.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

About Author

Introduction

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Brick's performance offers a familiarity with Downeast colloquialisms and thoroughly believable New England accents."—-AudioFile

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Ethan Frome 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 149 reviews.
ILoveClassics More than 1 year ago
I was very skeptical about reading this at first because I love a happy ending. However, Edith Wharton completely changed that with her stark and simple realism that left you thinking there was no better way to end this story than tragically. I read it in 1 sitting... and I think that's the only way to do it with this story! Even though Ethan's relationship with his wife's cousin is borderline immoral... Wharton is able to manipulate your emotions and actually make you feel compassion for these two lovers. I will read this story over and over!
TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
The story takes place in a nineteenth-century New England village. Ethan Frome is married to Zeena. Zeena has a great many problems. One of which is her ailing self. It's not clear if she is truly ill, of if her meanness just makes her so, but she is bedridden to the point of needing a helping hand. Mattie, her cousin, comes to help them out. As the three of them spend time together, it's clear that Ethan has fallen hard for Mattie. He secretly catches glimpses of her at the supper table, and finds excuses to be alone with her. Although he hopes that she feels the same way, it's hard to tell as first what Mattie is thinking. However, it's not hard to tell what Zeena is thinking and it's no surprise that she makes it difficult for them in the end. My frustration with this book is that there is really no honor to be had when it comes to Ethan. He loves Mattie, but he doesn't really act upon it in a realistic way. He sort of fumbles along and experiences moments of gushing that you'd expect from a young girl, not a grown man. I mentioned the honor part because it's not really out of a sense of honor that he is with his wife. It's as if he doesn't have the energy to live any differently. He puts up with her but I'm not sure why. Certainly not for money, as they are poor farmers and with her medical costs, there is nothing extra to be had. I wanted to feel something for Ethan, but I felt nothing. It was like downing a glass of wine and having it go right to your head. I was numb to his plight and I felt no pity for him. The end of the book, as seen through a third-party visitor to the house, has got to be one of the most depressing endings ever. Although I didn't love it, there is plenty to discuss. On a funny note, when I saw the cover above, I was thinking torrid love affair, a "roll in the hay" so to speak, but when you read the book you realize the cover has nothing to do with what my dirty, smutty mind was thinking. Too bad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ethan Frome is a tragic story that will manipulate and twist your emotions of what a good relationship is. Ethan and his sickly wife, Zeena, live in a bleak New England countryside. Zeena's younger cousin Mattie comes to help Ethan care for Zeena. Eventually, Mattie and Ethan begin to fall in love. All Ethan can do is think about Mattie and try to spend time with her. On one hand, you're inspired and touched by Ethan and Mattie's love and the hope for their future together, but you also feel bad for Zeena. The ending of the story is surprising and full of irony. This is a fast read, an interesting exploration in romance and relationships as we define them, and a tragic love story between even more tragic characters.
The_Book_Wheel_Blog More than 1 year ago
Last week I joined, at the urging of Love at First Book, the Classics Club. What this means is that I vow to read at least 50 classics in 50 years (see my list here). Because classics come with the stigma of being heavy and daunting, I started out with Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton because it’s short and I’ve never read her. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of the classics (Pride & Prejudice and Tess of the D’Urbervilles are in my top ten favorite books), but it has been a while since I have read one. Ethan Frome is a story that pits love against duty, demonstrating that the two are not necessarily the same thing. It is, quite possibly, one of the most depressing stories I have ever read. There wasn’t anything catastrophic, per se, but the quiet desperation of Ethan and Mattie was palpable and it broke my heart. Because the story was published in 1911, I imagine the outcome is very different than what it would be if it were written today. This is not a book with a predictably happy ending, and yet it will draw out your sympathetic side. All in all, it was not a bad way to start off the Classics Club.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe you read this in school but it is a must read for the more mature reader as it is very thought provoking and good for discussion.
Stevie_Jo More than 1 year ago
This book touched my heart and had me near tears before I was finished with it. The characters and their developments were astounding and the storyline was wonderful. I read it first in high school, then again a few years later. I could read it over and over and it would never lose its intensity.
spincerely on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is another that I just read for book club. I never read any Edith Wharton in High School or College, but after visiting her home and reading this book, I feel like I missed out on a lot.
gypsysmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Such a sad tragic story but so wonderfully written. Read it.
ysar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tragically and simply romantic, this is one of my favorite books of all-time. Nothing terribly exciting happens...there's no big drama or action. It's just a simple story about simple people with feelings that cannot be acted upon. I can't really describe why this book drew me in. On the surface, it's depressing and bleak, but there is a depth to it that is captivating.
sdunford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hated this book when forced to read it in High School - was shocked to see how much better it got when I reread it as an adult.
trinityM82 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So sad, though it can be so hopeful. Excellent study of hu;man nature in such a short book.
elissajanine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I try to have a classic book going on at all times, just there in the background, and this one was thin and quick and easy to read. Wharton's style is light and engaging, her characters interesting, and the whole story just kind of flowed out smoothly. I'm not as compelled by these characters as some of her others, but Ethan Frome's story was a good read and kept me turning the pages, even when I totally knew what was going to happen. It was well-crafted, and I enjoyed it.
Rozax on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed invasive oral surgery more than I enjoyed reading this book. All three of them, actually. The first one made me rather sick, due to the general anesthesia. At least the dentist provided anesthetics during the procedure. There was nothing dulling the pain of reading this book. It should NOT be on the required reading list for any high school.
caroren on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago

A true classic, written with simple beautiful language, this shows us the romance of the 19th century in its tragic form.

BlackSheepDances on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Deceptively short, deceptively simple. Don't miss this fantastic novella, that shows how one bad decision can affect a lifetime. "Marry in haste, repent at leisure" is best personified in this book.It's a perfect cold weather read, and take your time to enjoy the characters. Ethan Frome is a strong man, and despite his disability, you see strength. But as you read more you see that a tremendous weakness on his part, far in the past, affected his entire life.Don't give up on this, because the story has one of the greatest twists in modern English literature. Don't assume too much as you read, as you will be wrong. I made both my sons read this...I think any young man should.
katiekrug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A short, spare novella detailing the doomed relationship between a man and his wife¿s cousin. There are plenty of reviews, so I won¿t rehash any of it. What I found most compelling was Wharton¿s ability to make her reader invest in a story that does little more than detail the bleak landscape of New England and the icy nature of New Englanders¿ emotional existence. A total downer, but a beautifully written and evocative one. I listened to this on audio, narrated by Scott Brick, and will return to the story in printed format at some point, as I think I missed some powerful writing.
osunale on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ethan Frome is one of the most hauntingly beautiful books to earn its place as an essential of American literature. Wharton manages to portray an almost Hawthornian tale of the socially taboo with just as powerful an emotional impact.
GBev2008 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wharton is a very good writer and most of the book was pretty compelling, but all the melodrama at the end was a little hard to swallow.Well written, but certainly not the classic I was led to believe.
bung on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a refreshing, albeit bleak, read. A cynical criticism of romance, humourous, symbolic, fabulous.
bexaplex on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ethan Frome is House of Mirth made over with a male protagonist and a rural backdrop. Wharton's Starkfield (!) has become the literary epitome of wintry hardscrabble New England. Like Lily Bart, Ethan chooses freedom and happiness. He wants to pay for that choice with his death, but instead pays for it with his life.
bderby on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Edith Wharton explores a love triangle not only within a small town, but within a small house. Passion ignites, burns, and dies quickly in this tale of Ethan Frome and his wife's cousin, Mattie. In the end, after a failed (intentionally?) joint-suicide attempt, Ethan, his wife Zenobia, and Mattie live together in misery.
juglicerr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a very well written and constructed, but rather nasty and ugly story. I would recommend it most to fans of Shirley Jackson. Others may find that their dislike for the plot overwhelms any admiration for the prose.
moonshineandrosefire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A farmer in turn-of-the-century New England struggles to survive and to make his farm successful. First he is tethered to the land by his helpless parents; then by his ailing wife. When Ethan's wife's alluring cousin comes to stay, she and Ethan become trapped in a hopelessly passionate love affair. Trapped by fear of public condemnation and the bonds of a loveless marriage, Ethan starts down a path which could eventually lead to tragedy for all involved.I had originally wanted to read this book after seeing the movie with Liam Neeson. Mareena and I caught the last part of the movie and were shocked at how sad it was. I love a sad book and Mareena loves the classics. I give this book an A+!
stephcan13 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The quiet, dark, cold world of longing that Wharton lulls us into in Ethan Frome is just as irresistable to me now as it was over a decade ago, when I read this short novel for the first time. The world she creates of plain, ordinary people and their plain, ordinary drama could easy fall flat in another author's hands, yet Wharton manages to execute a simple, and ultimately sad story in such an eloquent matter that these "simple" country women and men's lives take on a fascinating qualtiy to be rivaled by the wealthiest socialites and celebrities. Most impressive is her ability to use setting--a brutal northern winter--to reinforce the joy and hopelessness the main characters experience; thus setting becomes a dominant force, if not a character, unto itself. I adore this book and highly recommend it to everyone.
qoomomo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ethan Frome is a farmer who has little money to live. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife Zeena and Zeena's cousin Mattie. Mattie is younger than Zeena, so Ethan is fascinated and love her. But he has the wife, so he faces many difficulties. I was interested in this story which is different from other books in point of the construction. I think love is so difficult and scare because Ethan fell in love with Mattie even though he had the wife, Zeena. So Ethan was stupid, but little poor man.