Momma Leighellen's Book Review

I am so excited to dive deep into the themes of Hester with my friends!.The @bookfriendsbookclub is discussing Hester over on our discord channel.  Then we will chat with author Laurie Lico Albanese later via zoom!  There is so much to discuss!

“That’s what I strive for, to live only in my imagination, only in a magical world.”

Did you ever read The Scarlett Letter?  I performed the play in college and it left a profound impact on me. I also have my own history of an uwed pregnancy and issues with the church.  So let me just say it became a book that I felt deep in my soul.

Hester is the story before the story.  It read like a companion piece. The novel imagines the woman who could have been the muse for Nathaniel Hawthornes infamous character. It explores a fictional life together.  This novel is filled with love and loss; the mix of magic, witches and religion; hope and disappointment. It ties together stories of Salem in the 1800’s with Scotland in the 1600’s and provides lush descriptions of the time periods. 

“silence doesn’t protect us from the past, as I well know. When a legacy haunts a family the echoes reverberate even if no one hears them.”

I thought the use of synesthesia was really creative. Isobel literally feels what she creates as colors come alive in the patterns she weaves. I love the mix of complex themes. This was a fast paced, engaging read from the start. It does an incredible job filling in true history with fiction.  It’s filled with themes perfect for bookclub discussion including social class, women’s rights, family legacies, addiction, freedom and liberty. I’m looking forward to discussing with @bookfriendsbookclub and chatting with the author! 

“I’m a witch and he’s a sorcerer. Or perhaps he’s the sorcerer and I’m the cauldron. I want to know him down to the soul.”

Are you ready to discuss this one?

Did it make you want to go back and read The Scarlett Letter again?

Next Steps

You can pick up a copy of the book here.  To read more of my reviews, check out the rest of my blog.  To enter the latest giveaways and see what I’m currently reading, head to my Bookstagram account in IG.  And to listen to me chat all things bookish and share my latest reviews, head to my Booktube Channel. To try the book on audio go here!


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