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Hester by Paula Reed
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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This story tells about the missing years in Hester's life and gives you an idea of what happens to Pearl. After Roger Chillingworth dies and leaves his estate to Pearl, Hester takes her back to England. While in England, Hester becomes involved in affairs of state in a way that is unexpected. You get to see men of history like Oliver Cromwell through Hester's eyes. I found the storyline to be interesting and especially loved Pearl's character. I liked the way this book went along with The Scarlet Letter. I was surprised to find myself really involved in Hester's life and overall loved this book. ( )
  i.should.b.reading | Jan 14, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as part of the Early Reviewers program and was looking forward to reading it as the original "Scarlet Letter" was one of the few books we "had" to read in high school English class that actually held my attention. Which is not to mention my fond remembrance of the riveting 1979 mini-series ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078683/ ) starring Meg Foster who, for me, totally became Hawthorne's tragic heroine Hester Prynne. Thus, with these two items in mind, I embarked on this novel with high hopes and was not completely disappointed.

The author does an excellent job of laying out and making the English politics during Cromwell's reign clear, understandable and relevant to the story. Admittedly, this novel does involve taking a giant leap of faith to buy into her premise that Hester can "see" others sins similar to someone who sees others' auras and thus, because of this "gift", gets drawn into the machinations and intrigue of Cromwell's court, for lack of a better word. But, overall, I liked the book, especially because I learned a ton about a period of English history I had otherwise avoided as being too dull--in fact, it was anything but. I agree with others here that if you are looking for a continuation of Hester's story more in line with what Hawthorne might have written, this isn't it. But if you are looking for well-drawn, human characters caught up during a turbulent time in British history then this detailed historical novel works just fine. ( )
  pkc181 | Aug 4, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Hester: The Missing Years of The Scarlet Letter seems to be at odds with itself. The detailed historical accounts do not marry well with the notion of Hester's ability to see others' sins. Moreover, Hester's role in English society and as a political "resource" are not believable which would be fine if Reed had not devoted so much time to historical details. ( )
  LCBrooks | Jun 1, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I never really got caught up in this historical novel that follows up on Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. I was interested in the history of Cromwell's "reign", but even that was rather dull. And since I didn't buy into the focus on Hester's "gift"... well, other fans of HF may still like the setting and the book's fond reaqaintance with a favorite classic character. ( )
  GCPLreader | May 31, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I had high expectations for this novel. Having taught The Scarlet Letter to my students, I was interested to see a new perspective on the character of Hester.

I was a bit disappointed while reading. I found it difficult to get into the story and care about the characters. The addition of historical politics was an interesting discussion, but I do not feel that it added anything to the story line; instead, it felt as though it took me out of the story right when I began to get into a flow with Hester’s home-life.

The fact that Hester was given powers to read the sins of others was very hard to swallow. This put Hester into a possible “witch” category which really changes that whole idea behind the original text.

If you are interested in a piece of historical fiction than this is for you. If you are looking for a book that feels as though it is an extension of the original than you might want to look elsewhere. ( )
1 vote ALoyacano | May 17, 2011 |
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Paula Reedprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hawthorne, Nathanielmain authorall editionsconfirmed

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To all my students over the years who have read The Scarlet Letter with me and loved it...or pretended to love it...or at least resisted the lure of SparkNotes and read every word Hawthorne wrote. I love you.
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If it is a lonely life to be the embodiment of sin, lonelier still is it to be a legend.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312583923, Hardcover)

Upon the death of her demonic husband, Hester Prynne is left a widow, and her daughter Pearl, a wealthy heiress. Hester takes her daughter to live a quiet life in England--only to find herself drawn into the circle of the most powerful Puritan of all time, Oliver Cromwell.

From the moment Hester donned the famous scarlet letter, it instilled in her the power to see the sins and hypocrisy of others, an ability not lost on the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth. To Cromwell, Hester’s sight is either a sign of sorcery or a divine gift that Hester must use to assist the divinely chosen in his scheming to control England.  Since sorcery carries a death sentence, Hester is compelled against her will to use her sight to assist Cromwell. She soon finds herself entangled in a web of political intrigue, espionage, and forbidden love.

Hester will carry readers away to seventeenth century England with a deeply human story of family, love, history, desire, weakness, and the human ideal.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Widowed Hester Prynne travels with her wealthy heiress daughter to England in search of a quiet life only to land in the inner circle of power-hungry Oliver Cromwell, who wishes to harness Hester's ability to recognize the sins and hypocrisy of others.… (more)

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