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Introduction Due to a carpenters strike the narrator finds himself based in the small Massachusetts town of Starkfield for the winter He learns Ethan Fromes story from many sources Frome was crippled by an accident almost a quarter of a century earlier When the narrators horse rides are ceased due to an illness in the stable So he hitches a ride with Frome in his carriage One-day the narrators train is cancelled and Ethan Frome offers to take him all the way to his work On the way back the storm grows and it becomes too hard to press on so the narrator is offered to spend the night at Ethans house Chapter 1 This chapter flashes back to a time before the accident Ethan was sent to the church to escort Mattie Silver Ethans wife Zeenas cousin home Mattie has been living with Ethan and Zeena for over a year working as a housekeeper He has become attached to her over the course of a year finding a subject that they are both interested in nature He wonders if there could ever be anything between them but he remembers that she is meant to marry Denis Eady and that she will eventually leave This thought disheartens him and he begins to brood Chapter 2 The dance ends and Ethan shrinks into shadows instead of going and getting Mattie directly He watches her say no to Denis Eadys offer for a ride home Finally he comes up and surprises her by coming up from behind As they pass through the gate to the farm Ethan puts his arm around her decidedly for the first time Zeena greets them at the door because she couldnt sleep due to her illness and she forces Ethan to follow her upstairs Chapter 3 Ethan was up all night thinking about Mattie he regrets not kissing her the night before He goes out and buries himself in
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