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Ethan Frome is a novel published in 1911 by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Edith Wharton. It is set in the fictitious town of Starkfield, Massachusetts. The novel was adapted into a film, Ethan Frome, in 1993. Ethan Frome was written while Edith Wharton was living at The Mount, her home in Lenox, Massachusetts. Wharton likely based the story on an accident that she had heard about in 1904 in Lenox, Massachusetts. The New York Times called Ethan Frome "a compelling and haunting story".Edith Wharton was able to write an appealing book and separate it from her other works, where her characters in Ethan Frome are not of the elite upper class. Some critics have read the novel as a veiled autobiography where they have interpreted the likeness between Ethan's situations with his wife in the novel to Wharton's unhappy marriage to her husband, Edward (Teddy) Robbins Wharton. Ethan Frome is set in a fictional New England town named Starkfield, where an unnamed narrator tells the story of his encounter with Ethan Frome, a man with dreams and desires that end in an ironic turn of events.
The narrator tells the story based on an account from observations at Frome's house when he had to stay there during a winter storm.
The novel is framed by the literary device of an extended flashback.