Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review: The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Here's the description from Amazon:
Greedy, piratical Colonel Pyncheon builds his mansion on ill-gotten ground, setting the stage for generations of suffering. Years later, a country cousin and an enigmatic young boarder attempt to reverse the tide of misfortunes surrounding the house in Hawthorne's evocative blend of mystery and romance.
I read this for the latest Classics Club Spin, and I did finish by January 1st!  (I'm just behind on posting reviews, as you can see.)  Believe it or not, this was my first time reading Hawthorne.  I never had to read him for school.  But I've always had a soft spot for him, because I grew up on a street called Hawthorne (named after the trees, though, not the author!).
I really enjoyed this book.  Hawthorne really captured the atmosphere of the old house.  You can feel the weight of all its years and history bearing now on Hepzibah.  I think my favorite scene was when the judge is sitting, dead, in the living room, and Hawthorne's going on about the stopped clock and flies.
An added bonus to my edition (which I downloaded from Barnes and Noble for my Nook), was that the forward was written by Katherine Howe, who has written two books I loved (and has a new book coming out this year I believe).  I really loved reading the forward and her insight was a bonus as I read this book.
I definitely plan on reading more by Hawthorne in the future.  It's been too long since I've read the classics!
Have you read The House of the Seven Gables?  What did you think?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Title: The House of the Seven Gables
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Date of Publication: Originally, in 1851
Number of Pages 240
Genre: Fiction
Source: Personal Copy, ebook


  1. This sounds very gothic and creepy, I love books like that. I think I'll add it to my next classics club list, when I finish my first.

  2. I've visited the house that this was allegedly based on, but haven't read this yet! I really ought to although I'm just not a Hawthorne fan... (High school broke me, I think!)