Book Reviews

OoMCZ: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and will not reveal her lover’s identity. The scarlet letter A (for adultery) she has to wear on her clothes, along with her public shaming, is her punishment for her sin and her secrecy. She struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt

Title: The Scarlet Letter
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Genre: Classics, Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback
Publisher :Arcturus Publishing Ltd 
Date Published: May 15th 2017  (first published March 16th 1850)
Rating: 2//5 Owls

This month I chose my Out of My Comfort Zone book a little differently, because I know what happens in The Scarlet Letter. It’s a story I’ve heard, seen adaptions of, and overall KNOW, but I’ve never had a desire to read it. The writing style and time period aren’t things that usually interest me, but isn’t that the whole point of this reading challenge?

One thing that I find absolutely fascinating about this book is how well known the story is. I’ve never seen a movie adaption, haven’t read the book before now, but you damn well know that I know the name Hester Prynne and her story. This story is a classic in every sense, and even my literary adept husband knows what a Scarlet A symbolizes.

HOWEVER the actually story is well….boring

Why do I care how laws changed because of a pig?

Why do I need a million descriptions of Pearl’s beauty?

This book reads more like a character analysis of Hester than it does an actual story. So much of the time is spent just describing her day to day life, which gets old after maybe five sentences.

Half the time the prose were insufferable, and the plot went off on ridiculous tangents that didn’t add anything new to the story. Things were overall described to the point that I forgot what the original point of the description was, or I sat here longing for the story to get back to the point.

I just… don’t have many words to say on this book, I wanted to love it, I didn’t. It’s a classic! But what really defines what is considered “classic must read literature?”

This is probably my shortest review to date just because it’s hard to review a book where NOTHING ACTUALLY HAPPENS.

Overall, this month was a loss when it comes to my OoMCZ reading, but the Scarlet Letter was largely all that I imagined it would be..which isn’t much.

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