Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

Publisher: Ticknor, Reed & Fields
Pages: 279
Genre: Classics, Historical Fiction
Published: 1850-01-01
Original Language: English

Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and will not reveal her lover’s identity. The scarlet letter A (for adultery) she has to wear on her clothes, along with her public shaming, is her punishment for her sin and her secrecy. She struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.