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Granny Reads: Review of "Hester," a Novel by Laurie Lico Albanese

HesterHester by Laurie Lico Albanese <-- link to Amazon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Laurie Lico Albanese has written Hester an historical novel based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's *The Scarlet Letter*. She presents her book's heroine, Hester, as the imagined victim of Hawthorne's assaults, a parallel with his story except that he does not identify himself as the character of the deceiving minister and all the notes and unpublished manuscript pages for *The Scarlet Letter* have been lost, likely burned.

(click image above to link to Amazon)

The story involves a history of 'witches,' both in Scotland, where Hester originated with a predecessor (aunt) who was persecuted as a witch, and in Salem in America, where the famous Puritan witch persecutions had taken place.

The story is quite gripping and full of surprises. Hester is a gifted seamstress/embroidery artist and I found myself intrigued by Albanese's descriptions of the needlework she does, and how its artistry is highly valued among the people of the time.

There is much derring-do and many interesting characterizations of the people in supporting and opposing roles to Hester, who is definitely a woman of great strength, ethics and courage. Albanese has presented many realistic, complex characters who raise quesions for the reader throughout the story. The ending of the book is happy (but no other spoilers, sorry/not sorry).

In the book's last six pages Albanese shares the reason she wrote the book as she did, about her research resources, and a bibliography of books about Hawthorne.


Interview with Laurie Lico Albanese, author of "Hester"...


View all my reviews on GoodReads

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