The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlett Letter -  Nathaniel Hawthorne

This book marks the 8th book read on my Classic's List for the Classic's Reading Challenge.


Reading this book for the first time I can honestly attest this popular classic completely lives up to its reputation.  An outstanding example of classic literature possessing both lasting value and timeless quality. 


It's 1642 in Puritan Boston, Hester Prynne is an adultress who becomes pregnant after her husband leaves for sea and thus wears "the scarlet letter" for all to see her shame.  Gossiped and scorned within the town she is morally condemned by a community whose ethics and values are paramount and unwavering.  When asked to name the father of her child she refuses, thus infuriating those condemning ever more so. 


The father of Hester's child, Pearl is none other than the town's minister, Arthur Dimmesdale who must now wrestle with his own moral conscience.  Committing a sin as well as keeping it secret.


While publicly humiliated Hester is required to stand on a scaffold in the town's square as part of her punishment. At this time she spots her husband in the crowd who was believed to be lost at sea.  He later visits the prison, wanting to seek revenge on the man, asks Hester who's the father of her child. Once again Hester refuses to name her lover but her husband vows to identify him.  Thus ensues the love triangle.


Reading this book was an absolute pleasure. Some might fight the language old fashioned and archaic, for me it was soothing and gratifying. I wish everyone would read this book.


How I acquired this book:  Gift from husband, Mother's Day visit to Moe's Books, Berkeley, CA

Shelf Life8 months