Character driven, but still possibly a ghost story, written in the florid style of 19th-century prose. The characters are interesting, as are their interactions. The supposedly cursed house grows more claustrophobic as the story proceeds, and the book finally reaches a climax in one of the most unusual (and quiet!) chapters I've ever read. I enjoyed this book, but the writing style needs a little time for the contemporary reader to get used to, and the conclusion seems a little abrupt and out of character for the rest of it.
I found the context of The House of the Seven Gables very interesting and intriguing, with a lot happening between Hepzibah Pyncheon her brother Clifford, cousin Phoebe and other townspeople. Surrounded by the notion of a family curse really drew me in. The unfolding of the climax really surprised me and anyone who enjoys gothic fiction or is a fan of books written in the 19th Century, I highly recommend this book.
For warning, reading this book sometimes I had to reread over what I initially read. You can easily get lost or confused in the translation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's writing style. All in all a fun read!
The House of Seven Gables isn't really about an evil house, any more than The Scarlet Letter is about an evil wizard. It's a character-based story about people who live with the Puritan legacy. If you like Nathaniel Hawthorne's other works, you'll like this sweet, nostalgic story, but it isn't exactly action-packed.
'Haunted'? 'Cursed'? Good grief. Remember that it was written in 1850 and don't go looking for a thrilling Hallowe'en read here! Quite verbose, as novels of that time were, it takes awhile - a long while, to develop. Not one of my favourites.
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