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The Scarlet Letter Review

The Scarlet Letter *Book 3/20 for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

*Book 2/7 for the Classics Reading Challenge

Title: The Scarlet Letter

Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Brief Synopsis: Hester Prynne lives in the strictly Puritan village of Salem in the early 1600’s. As punishment for her sin of adultery, Hester must wear a scarlet letter “A” on her bosom for the rest of her days. As the years pass, we meet Chillingworth, Dimmesdale, Pearl, and other members of the community. As the reader, we observe the consequences of guilt, sin, deception, and forgiveness.

My Opinion: This was the second time that I have read the book for school, and I loved it even more the second time around. I was able to fully appreciate the beauty of all of the symbolism, and I understood the “impish” actions of little Pearl much better.

The complexity of the characters was intriguing. Without spoiling anything for those of you who have never read the novel, it amazes me the way that Hawthorne was able to develop the psychological aspects of each character. The reader is given insight into the “inner psyche” of Pearl, Hester, Chillingworth, and Dimmesdale, adding to the depth of the plot.

The plot kind of plodded along in sections of the book, but overall I enjoyed the slow build-up of suspense. I didn’t have any idea how the book would end the first time through, so this time it was nice to focus on the little details that I missed the first time through.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! I’m not sure that I want to read it again anytime soon, but it wasn’t as painful the second time through as I thought it would be. It definitely helps to use Sparknotes to understand the details and symbolism to the fullest extent.

~Carolinabookworm

Ophelia Review

*Book 2/20 for Historical Fiction Reading Challenge!

A friend at school lent this book to me. It was pretty good. I have never read Hamlet, but this book makes me want to.

Title: Ophelia

Author: Lisa Klein

Brief Synopsis: This is a modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s classic, Hamlet…but with a twist! It’s told from Ophelia’s perspective, so the focus is more on romance than action.

My Opinion: I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. It was refreshing to read a book with a female narrator who wasn’t whiny. I’m not sure how Shakespeare’s play goes, but Hamlet’s and Ophelia’s love seemed to develop too quickly for my liking. It seems like one day they don’t know eachother’s names, and the next, they are getting married. The whole revenge part seemed a little too random for me. Then again, I guess it makes sense because it also surprised Ophelia. I loved how the book ended, but I could literally see it coming from the first page. Overall, it was an enjoyable read.

~Carolinabookworm

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge!

I am also joining the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge! I think I will try for 20 books (Severe Bookaholism level) because I lovelovelove historical fiction. I am going to use The Joy Luck Club as my first review because of the focus on Chinese culture. I am wicked excited for this challenge!!!

~Carolinabookworm