The classic puritan story of Hester Prynne, an unfaithful woman who has a child out of wedlock with an unknown man and is forced to wear the scarlet letter A on her chest as a penance for her crime. Full of symbolism and questions of what is morally right, this novel has been acclaimed as the best American work of literature.
So, I admit I'm a fan of Hawthorne, becuase he's a fellow that knows his way around words. He is one of those authors that can choose the best word possible for the situation he's writing about. That being said, in The Scarlet Letter, of which I'm sure I'm not the only one who was required to read this in high school, is more a book about symbols than people. Irritating if you're a character-oriented person. BUT...this book is pretty amazing from a literary standpoint, even if it isn't the easiest or most entertaining book out there. In my opinion, the fast plots and instant gratification of our culture has deprived us of the slow and beautiful messages of the older authors. This is the story of a woman who did a huge no-no at this point in history; in fact she was pretty lucky not to have been killed for her adultery. While the characters are over-the-top dramatic at times, this book is a powerful indicator of what goes on behind closed doors and how lies and deciet can spiritually kill a person. If you've never read this, go back to your Puritan roots and give it a go. If nothing else, you can cross it off of your 'books to read before I die' list.