Hester: A Novel
Upon the death of her demonic husband, Hester Prynne is left a widow, and her daughter Pearl, a wealthy heiress. Hester takes her daughter to live a quiet life in England--only to find herself drawn into the circle of the most powerful Puritan of all time, Oliver Cromwell.
From the moment Hester donned the famous scarlet letter, it instilled in her the power to see the
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This plot hinges on...more
Okay, we know Mrs Prynne goes to England since daughter Pearl was left money by the old snake Dimmsdale, but after that, things get a bit harder to accept. Hester and Pearl move in with an old friend, but England is under the rule of Cromwell and a glum Puritanism prevails. Despite this, Hester,-who now has the gift of "vision...more
First star to take off: I didn't like the way it was written. There seem to be no moments where Hester "lets her hair down" and drops her completely upright manner of speaking. Each time I picked the book back up, I had a hard time getting into the austere rhythm. I know part of that is because of the time per...more
Near the end of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, as you may recall, Roger Chillingworth, Hester Prynne's malevolent husb...more
This book was...more
1. The publisher did a shoddy job formatting the novel for kindle. Paragraphs run together making it difficult to figure out which character is speaking the dialogue.
2. The political history is very dense. Reed has a great handle on the English Interregnum, but too often long passages about Cromwell's investigations into treasonous activity in the realm bog down the narrative and later political events discussed...more
On the plus side, I like historical fiction that has a little detail. I like hearing about clothing, food, etc. I like when the dialogue seems realistic and the characters aren't throwing around modern phrases or usages.
Also, I hate when people try to out-Austen Austen or out-Bronte the Brontes. The author did neither...more
I would never have picked this one up if I hadn't been asked to read it at work. Also, on a completely unrelated note, this is the first book I've read on my iphone thanks to the Stanza app and I must say that reading on the iphone felt as comfortable as reading on paper.
I'll shamelessly admit having never read The...more
I was a little reluctant about reading this book because, in my experience, a book which is a retelling or a continuation of a classic can often be horrendous. When I first realized the book was a continuation of Hester and Pearl Prynne's story from the Scarlet Letter, I couldn't help thinking of the disastrous film starring Demi Moore that failed in capturing the original book. However, I was pleasantly surprised by P...more
Hester and her daughter Pearl leave Massachusetts and return to the land of Hester's...more
Her take on Heste...more
A woman returns to London, after a sojourn in The Colonies, with her precocious, and wealthy, 8-year-old daughter. After settling in with old friends, she finds herself in the midst of the political machinations of Oliver Cromwell's England.....due to a certain "gift" of "seeing into the hearts of men".....her ability to spot lies and treason, while retaining her womanly propriety..While employed as such a Judge, she meets a hunky Sir John, who is playing both ends against the middle, politicall...more
Wow. I’m not going to find a lot of words to describe this one. It was a fantastic, wonderfully written, soul searching kind of read. Whereas Nathaniel Hawthorne is quite daunting to read, Paula Reed brings simplicity to Hester’s story, turning it into an interesting sequel of what “might have” happened in between Hawthorne’s accounts.
The good news is, you need not know about Puritan history OR The Scarlet Letter to enjoy this book. It is exquisitely written and paced, and...more
Having never read The Scarlett Letter (I tried to once in high school but quit) I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy Hester. However, Reed did not fail to deliver. Reed gave a bit of background about Hester and Pearl throughout the novel, but no more than was necessary and only when it would add to the story. I liked Hester's character and felt that I could understand her and the choices that...more
There were parts of the book that I found pretty interesting though. I loved the parts where she and Sir John talked about philoso...more
The first and last time I read The Scarlet Letter was the summer before junior year of high school. It, along with a list of other books, was assigned summer reading for AP English. I didn't much care for it, and didn't think much about after I was done and the assignment turned in. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I started Hester. I contemplated re-reading The Scarlet Letter first but dismiss...more