🅰️Have you read the classic, ‘The Scarlet Letter’, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850? Did you read it on your own or as a school assignment? I read it several yrs ago & I can honestly say, ‘Hester’—released earlier this month & a BOTM pick—is SO much better!
📖‘Hester’ by Laurie Lico Albanese is a stunning, poignant, masterfully created work of art! It’s a reimagining of the tragic heroine that inspired ‘The Scarlet Letter’ & from her point of view. I absolutely loved it! It’s very well narrated on audiobook as well! Thank you to St Martins Press for my autographed gift copy of the book along with the handkerchief seen in the photo.
🅰️Who is the real Hester Pryne? Isobel Gamble is a young seamstress carrying generations of secrets when she sets sail from Scotland in the early 1800s w/ her husband, Edward. An apothecary who has fallen under the spell of opium, his pile of debts have forced them to flee Glasgow for a fresh start in the New World. But only days after they’ve arrived in Salem, Edward abruptly joins a departing ship as a medic––leaving Isobel penniless & alone in a strange country, forced to make her way by any means possible.
🅰️When she meets a young Nathaniel Hawthorne, the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is a man haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows––while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. As the weeks pass & Edward’s safe return grows increasingly unlikely, Nathaniel & Isobel grow closer & closer. Together, they are a muse & a dark storyteller; the enchanter & the enchanted. But which is which?
🅰️In this sensuous & hypnotizing tale, a young immigrant woman grapples w/ our country’s complicated past, & learns that America’s ideas of freedom & liberty often fall short of their promise. Interwoven w/ Isobel & Nathaniel’s story is a vivid interrogation of who gets to be a “real” American in the first half of the 19th century, a depiction of the early days of the Underground Railroad in New England, & atmospheric interstitials that capture the long history of “unusual” women being accused of witchcraft.
💁🏼♀️Meticulously researched yet evocatively imagined, Laurie Lico Albanese’s ‘Hester’ is a timeless tale of art, ambition, & desire that examines the roots of female creative power & the men who try to shut it down.
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