Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton

Booze and Booze Tipple: 
Two Words - Hot Toddy.

The Introduction of Penalties.

 ‘Ethan Frome’ is a classic example of Book and Booze Club ‘coalition style democracy’ in action;  our sleepers wanted something literally ‘thin’ and our worms wanted something ‘meaty’.

The solution? Google-hey-presto. Pulitzer prize winning author Edith Wharton - coming in at one hundred and fourteen pages?   Done.

Deal sealed with a smug chink of the glasses and a chorus of resounding promises to deliver – in our world,  that means actually read the bloody book.   

And what a great Book and Booze Club session we could have had, if even just half of my gorgeous, loveable, lazy-arsed-neighbour-friends honoured their promises and tried a little harder to resist the ever buzzing evening i-phone lure of  'Words with Friends'' and get past the (if I'm honest) bleak (yes-symbolic) Wordsworth Classics front cover.

In my little sugar tempered world of imagined perfection and opportunities seized, in a world where I wasn't the only Book and Boozer to complete this story, we, amongst other things, might have chatted about:

1    Duty and choice:  
     Duty to others? Duty to oneself? Duty to fulfill ones obligations? Duty to follow your heart?  

2   Women and the cruelty of culture
     Mattie Silver and Zeena Frome – A cautionary tale for women who are kept isolated and dependent?  

THEN... get a bit boozy, cracking open the chinks in our finely turned out relationships.  

BUT....we didn't do any of that. (Well, obviously there's always going to be few chinks chipped open and grievances aired in a room full of women and booze.)   

THUS...sadly, our little democratic compromise failed to deliver. 

I think I might even be suffering with survivors guilt. 

Edith Wharton – I’m sorry we cocked up and let your great tale elude the rigours of conversation. May this blog right our wrongs. Should it come to pass that I am in fact, actually not blogging to myself, here’s hoping another less boozy, more disciplined, bookish book club might take up the mantle, read all one hundred and fourteen pages and bring 'Ethan Frome' in from the cold.

And so it came to pass a month later, on a 'less book, more booze' eve, talk evolved in regard to introducing - for strictly motivational purposes -  a ‘Penalty Policy’. Proposed penalties varied in severity, decency and logistical possibility, but I take heart in the collective desire to save the 'book' in Book and Booze Club.

That was a year ago.   

Policy takes time.

Book and Booze Club Rating:
Four Empty glasses just longing to be filled.

The Techy Speccy Blurby Bit

United States
Publication date
Media type
Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
195 pp

This story takes place against the cold, gray, bleakness of a New England winter. Ethan Frome is an isolated farmer trying to scrape out a meager living while also tending to his frigid, demanding and ungrateful wife Zeena. A ray of hope enters Ethan's life of despair when his wife's cousin Mattie arrives to help. His life is transformed as he falls in love with Mattie but their fate is doomed by the stifling conventions of the time. Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome is a compelling classic of American Literature and a powerful tale with compelling characters trapped in circumstances they seem unable to escape.

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