An unknown person, new to the town of Starkfield, finds himself obsessed with the history of one of the town’s citizens, Ethan Frome, and specifically how he found himself stuck in Starkfield, and not in some grander place.
Why this book?: AP required reading.
I really wasn’t looking forward to this book, mainly because it just seemed othering of disabled peoples, but I eventually had to read it because we often have in-class essays dedicated to the books we read, and I couldn’t exactly just throw myself under that bus. Ethan Frome ended up being exactly what I assumed it would be: offensive to disabled peoples, following a ridiculous story that was disappointing and exasperating all at once.
Maybe this story might have been redeemed by decent writing, but there was really nothing special about Wharton’s writing. It was dry and bland, and I was constantly waiting for something to happen that would pique my interest. That never happened. Ethan Frome is a bland story that follows the life of a boring person, up until we start to get more information on Ethan. The way the narrator idolized Ethan, though, because of his disability, was really weird and creepy though. I think this is what people call “inspiration porn”?
And as the story, especially Ethan’s story, progressed, I just got more and more grossed out and put off. I hated how Wharton made a spectacle of Ethan and his life and the fact that this unnamed character just decided to barge in, after barely knowing the guy, and asked to know his life story specifically about how he got injured.
Final Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
After suffering through all of this, after all of the idolization and stalking, I just wanted this book to be over. And then that goddamn ending, I was pissed. Nothing about this book was worth it. I don’t get what the point of this book was, or why it was included on the AP list, because, frankly, it’s pointless, it’s offensive, and it’s boring as hell.
Would I Recommend?
The only good thing about this book was that the audio was only 3 hours, so it was a really quick read. Good for AP kids needing to get books checked off their lists, but not wanting to dive into the really thick ones. Otherwise, this book is a waste of space, in my honest opinion.
Page Count: 151