The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Release Date: 1850-12-30
  • Genre: Classics
Score: 4
From 4,407 Ratings


An Apple Books Classic edition.

Hester Prynne lives in infamy. After committing adultery and bearing a child with a man whose name she refuses to divulge, the heroine of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel is forced to wear a scarlet A to mark her shame for all to see.

Hawthorne’s American classic reflects the Puritan mindset of Boston in the 1600s, where public humiliation was acceptable punishment for a woman who bucked the norms. Never mind that Hester’s husband was widely believed to have died at sea and that Hester and her daughter are living a quiet life of good deeds in their little cottage outside town. Someone wants revenge-and will stop at nothing to get it.

The Scarlet Letter incorporates supernatural elements with historical fiction. It’s a dark tale of sin and redemption with an unforgettable heroine whose story continues to fascinate readers and inspire film adaptations.


  • I don’t think I have to

    By lamont-gibert
    I’m not sure what to say
  • Amazing

    By mckaylag23
    I loved it! Read it for English class and was not expecting it to be good. It has a good plot line and I love the purpose of the book. 10/10 would recommend.
  • Good book, if you can get past the old english

    By StephanieMonique
    It’s a classic for sure. It’s just difficult to concentrate with the dated language.
  • Amazing!

    By tdhop
    To an old man who was never forced to read this in his youth, The Scarlet Letter is revealed as an absolute masterpiece. Incredibly rich language is mixed with a twisted tale and a moral both poignant and modern. Hardly a tale of Puritan ascendance but instead one of love, sorrow and redemption. Fantastic!
  • Not amazing, but a good read

    By Disappointed owl😢
    The writing style can get a bit convoluted, but I found the characters to be interesting and unique. Once you get used to the style, the story is interesting and not as frivolously descriptive as others of its era.
  • The Scarlet Letter is outdated

    By lauhgingemoji267
    The Scarlet Letter is the most outdated book to read in the school. Do not use this as a book to read for your students; as they will hate it and tell others how bad it is. Read this if you enjoy reading centuries old literature.
  • Good

    By mistborn addict
    It’s relative to the world back then but it still does have an affect today, but just not as powerful as back then.
  • Not what I expected

    By Matt8385727
    It took me a while to get use to the way it was written and what the book is actually about. I found it to be very deep and poetic. It’s not so much a book of action but more about the situation as a whole. I can’t say it was “exciting” but very much so a really good book to read.
  • Ugh.

    By marin4200
    A book isn’t good just because reading it made you feel smart. I had to read this for school, and it did indeed make me feel smart as most of my classmates didn’t even try to read it and opted to use SparkNotes instead, but I was still annoyed the whole way through with the writing style. Every little thing was over-explained. Instead of focusing on moving the story along, or even going into detail about things relevant to it, Hawthorne would analyze a little, irrelevant detail, going on a pages-long tangent about it. I understand that some find this fascinating, but for me it was tedious and unnecessary. It seemed like the only point of it was for Hawthorne to flex his vocabulary and for the reader to flex their elitism for having stayed awake through it. Also, what was with Pearl’s character? Despite Hawthorne’s frequent reminders that she was a little girl, I felt like I was reading about a very stubborn old man whenever she did anything. This was a very strange feeling. Overall, I’m glad I’ve finished it and can say I’ve read it. However, whenever I see or hear about it, I will feel nothing but annoyance and loathing.
  • Good book

    By Ihavetoputanamenotused
    That was good.