Festive re-reads: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Rosalind Jana in The Guardian:

Ethan Frome is not your typical festive book. There are no fabulous parties or thawed hearts, no warming morals about the power of togetherness realised with a fireplace crackling somewhere in the background. In fact, Edith Wharton’s 1911 novella is a melancholy, mean little story, as chilly in tone as the lonely Massachusetts landscape with its “sheet of snow perpetually renewed from … pale skies”. And yet, there’s something in it that makes it a perfect read for those slushy days between Christmas and new year. Perhaps it’s the length: short enough to be consumed in one or two sittings, gulped down like ice water. Perhaps it’s the growing sense of foreboding, ideal for those who prefer their December reading to be of the truly bleak midwinter variety (or anyone in need of a palate cleanser after all that yuletide indulgence).

More here.