The House of the Seven Gables

July 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm Leave a comment

As you can see, my copy is a bit used, but I got it for really cheap!

As you can see, my copy is a bit used, but I got it for really cheap!

If you’ve been following my reading this summer (which, I’ll admit, you probably haven’t been), you may have noticed that The House of the Seven Gables took me a bit of a long time to read. The truth is that I just had a bunch of trouble getting into it. And that about sums up my opinion on this one.

It started out promisingly enough. A drama of Puritan greed and witch hunting, a terrible curse and a sudden death. I was hoping for murder. Or a ghost. Or a family plagued by dramatic and terrible misfortunes at the hands of the dead wizard’s curse! So many possibilities, and, instead, there were pages and pages about an old woman running a cent shop with the help of her young cousin while taking care of her brother. And we learned about their personalities and their daily routines and how they got along with each other. We learned about the customers in the shop and the people who passed by the house and a whole lot of other things that made me wonder where exactly this plot was going.

Granted, The Scarlet Letter, which I enjoyed reading, didn’t have a whole lot of action, either, but at least there was a sort of tension. From the beginning we know the trouble that Hester is in, we see that her husband is out for revenge on the unknown father of Hester’s child, and basically that all is not well in Puritanville (disclaimer: this is not the town’s real name, although it should be). So as we learn about the internal struggles of Hester and see what Chillingworth is up to, we know why these things matter. In The House of the Seven Gables, I just wasn’t getting it.

I did like the ending when I finally got to it, and I will say that this may be one of those books that is better on the second read. For now, though, if I speak truthfully, it kind of bored me. And in my rating system that almost automatically equals a rating of:

Two Stars

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Entry filed under: 1001, Books, Reviews.

Emerson and Hawthorne in Conversation The Drowned World

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