As I mentioned yesterday, my reread of The Scarlet Letter left me with lots to think about. I was particularly fascinated by the contrasts between the main characters: Arthur Dimmesdale, Hester Prynne, and Roger Chillingworth. And then, of course, innocent Pearl’s symbolic role in the novel was the most interesting part of the moving story

Read Post

Summer by Edith Wharton (published 1917) is a short novella about a young woman searching for her place. In some places, it’s been cited as Wharton’s most “erotic” work1. Charity Royall does come to her own sexual awakening over the course of a summer, but Wharton writes about Charity’s choices without too much sexual reference.

Read Post

Melodrama is defined by Merriam-Webster as a work characterized by extravagant theatricality and by the predominance of plot and physical action over characterization. By creating a world with both excessively good characters and excessively evil characters, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel about the horrors of slavery is certainly melodramatic. Yet, given her intended audience and the

Read Post

Welcome to week two of the Paradise Lost read-a-long and Milton in May, a month-long celebration of John Milton’s writings. Below, I have some possible discussion questions if you aren’t quite sure what to write for this week’s post or if you want to “discuss” the book with the rest of us. Contrary to what

Read Post

I love the sweeping grandeur of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. The characters built on each other, and I felt I was living through the experiences with them. Steinbeck’s purpose to the novel is found in the subtle and not so subtle conversations and actions of the fleshed-out characters, and in my two reads of

Read Post