The Scarlet Letter


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by | Read by Donada Peters

Published by Listening Library

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s exploration of the dichotomy between the public and private self, internal passion and external convention, gives us the unforgettable Hester Prynne, who discovers strength in the face of ostracism and emerges as a heroine ahead of her time. As Kathryn Harrison points out in her Introduction, Hester is “the herald of the modern heroine."

AudioFile Review

The Scarlet Letter

Narrator Donada Peters gives a sense of immediacy to this classic 1850s novel featuring Hester Prynne, an unmarried young mother who must wear an embroidered scarlet "A," denoting her commission of adultery. Peters's portrayals of the matrons who wait outside the jail for Hester's appearance set the tone for 1642 Boston--a place of cruel judgments, whispery gossip, and occasional gentleness. Through strong character portrayals, Peters depicts the torment of preacher Arthur Dimmesdale, who has not admitted to fathering Hester's child, and the agony of Roger Chillingworth, Hester's husband, who presents himself as a healer but, in truth, is vengeful and cruel. Throughout the story, Peters steadily illuminates Hester's essential goodness. S.W. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine

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