August 21, 2015
Have you ever been to Salem?
Several years ago, I went on a trip to Salem, Massachusetts and right as we were getting on the airplane my best friend's mom gave me a copy of The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. You might be completely confused about why this would be the best reading material for a quick airplane trip from Alabama to Massachusetts so allow me to shed some light on the situation for you. The story is all about the Pyncheon family and their gabled house in Salem (which is an actual home that you should all visit). The matriarch of the family, Hepzibah, has been forced to open a small shop in the house to supplement their income after her brother, Clifford, is released from prison for a crime which he has always maintained he did not commit. A distant cousin, Phoebe, joins their ranks just as they taken on a lodger by the name of Holgrave who mostly keeps to himself. An estranged cousin who is a Judge in town is a malevolent spirit on the fringes of their lives. There is a legend surrounding the family that they are cursed and that is why misfortune has seemed to follow them since the family home was acquired. It's a classic example of Gothic literature with a supernatural twist of the occult. If you're hesitant to give it a shot because of The Scarlet Letter (which I honestly wouldn't blame you for as I really didn't like that novel myself), I strongly encourage you to make an exception. It's a really fantastic book with a swiftly moving plot that is full of intrigue, romance, and familial drama.