Friday, October 21, 2016

October Reread - The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne

I chose to reread this classic as part of the Back to the Classics Challenge, under this category:

11. Re-read a classic you read in school (high school or college).  If it's a book you loved, does it stand the test of time?  If it's a book you disliked, is it any better a second time around?

This book was part of a high school English class, about a million years ago. I remember liking it a lot, at the time and I wrote a short paper on it and got a good grade. Of course, with my barely working memory, I only remembered a couple things from the book, so in a way it was like discovering it anew - or reading a book you've heard about so you know the name of the main character, but not much else.

My recollection definitely stood the test of time, and in fact, I think as an adult I can appreciate the book a lot more, even if my brain isn't as attuned to picking up on imagery and etc. as it was when I was a lot younger (and also still in school, where these things were pointed out, to be fair). I found the writing clear (even if Hawthorne overused the words "ignominy" and "ignominious") and the story straightforwardly told. The pacing was good too - the story didn't lag or get bogged down, it moved along at a good pace. The last few chapters in particular had me turning pages, wanting to see how everything turned out. All in all, I can highly recommend this classic book (again).


  1. I have yet to read the Scarlet Letter, although it is on my list of must reads. I have experienced the same sort of thing with other books that I have reread as an adult. The Color Purple was a favorite as a teen, but as an adult woman, the dynamics of the struggle was felt in a deeper way. Great review.

  2. Thanks, B.B.! I definitely recommend reading it, and it's not a long book either, which is nice - so many classics are really long and require more of a time commitment! I also read The Color Purple years and years ago and liked it, I should really read it again one of these days now that I have more life experience - I suspect some of the things in the book would hit me a lot harder. Thanks for stopping by :)