New York : Signet Classic,
is a tall, well-set up man with light hair and blue eyes, and he farms
the Frome land in Starkfield, Massachusetts. He had dabbled in physics
at the Worcester Technical school for a year, but needed to come home to
his ailing mother, who couldn't run the farm and the saw-mill alone after
his father's accident. When he came back home, he found his mother
changed. She was no longer the talkative woman she used to be. Instead
she spent all her time in silence, listening to the voices she heard in
the wind. He had Zenobia Pierce, his cousin and a woman seven years older
than he was nurse his mother--although Zenobia was a sickly woman herself.
Ethan was grateful for the care Zenobia gave his mother. She was so efficient,
and knew how to keep house as well as care for his mother. Because
she was there, he could go about the business of running the farm.
Zenobia was not a silent woman like his mother had become. Ethan, so quiet
himself, liked to hear people around him talking. Then when his mother
died one winter, he dreaded being left alone on the farm, and proposed
to Zenobia. But within a year of their marriage, she developed a
sickliness that kept her in bed, and she too became silent.
Into this household comes Zenobia's young cousin Mattie Silver. Mattie's
father and mother had died, and left her without money. Zenobia had
taken her in as her Christian duty, but also to have a hired girl that
she wouldn't have to pay. Mattie, with her dark hair and eyes and
her happy nature, lit up the house for Ethan. Slowly, he found himself
falling in love with her under the disapproving eyes of his wife.
He begins to make plans. He and Mattie will run away; he'll become an engineer
in a big city, and leave Starkfield behind. But Zenobia has other
plans for Mattie, including turning her out of the farm. Ethan himself
has to drive Mattie to the railway station, and it is during this trip,
on a slippery winter road, that he does something to guarantee that he
and Mattie will be together forever. (Stacy Charlesbois, Adult &
Young Adult Services Librarian,
Farmington Community Library, Farmington, Michigan)
Married people -- Fiction
Poor -- New England -- Fiction
Farm life -- New England -- Fiction
New England -- Social life and customs -- Fiction.
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