I've owned Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton since college but hadn't read it, despite loving The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth. When I read Summer recently for the Classics Circuit, I remembered Ethan Frome and figured it was about time to read it. It's really short and I read it in one day, so I'm not sure why I waited so long to give it a try.
However, it's definitely not up to Wharton's usual par in my opinion. I noticed several people seemed to share that opinion during the Circuit. A lot of them attributed that to the book not being set in NYC like most of Wharton's books. Since I enjoyed Summer, which was also not set in NYC, I thought perhaps I would enjoy Ethan Frome as well. But, it just didn't have anything that grabbed me. I'm usually much more attached to Wharton's characters than I was here. I finished this a week ago, and now I can't remember anyone's name except Ethan's. I still remember Lily Bart and Newland Archer even though it's been years since I've read The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence, whereas I doubt I'd remember Ethan's name if it wasn't the title!
Also, the book was depressing. Now, I think all of her other books are fairly depressing too, so that's not a deterrent, but since I didn't care about the characters, it was just depressing and boring instead of depressing and moving. I didn't hate or anything, I don't want to make you think that, it just wasn't Wharton's usual quality.