Over the weekend, I completed two books: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
I will admit that I enjoyed reading The Scarlet Letter more than Where’d You Go, Bernadette. I have found myself being drawn more into the classics than contemporary literature, at least more than I have been in the past. I don’t know if Semple’s book was sub part of a victim of my transition, but I gave it a 3/5 stars because I found the book to be about 50 pages too long and completely too far fetched. I didn’t sympathize with either Bernadette, her husband nor Hester Prynne or Reverend Dimmesdale. All four characters are setup to be sympathized with because of their personal choices and response to social norms neutralize their morals and integrity, yet I found it hard to find much within their personalities to empathize with. Ultimately, I enjoyed the writing styles over the substance in both novels.
Moving forward, I am going to begin reading “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
(Via Goodreads) First published in 1892, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is written as the secret journal of a woman who, failing to relish the joys of marriage and motherhood, is sentenced to a country rest cure. Though she longs to write, her husband and doctor forbid it, prescribing instead complete passivity. In the involuntary confinement of her bedroom, the hero creates a reality of her own beyond the hypnotic pattern of the faded yellow wallpaper–a pattern that has come to symbolize her own imprisonment. Narrated with superb psychological and dramatic precision, “The Yellow Wallpaper” stands out not only for the imaginative authenticity with which it depicts one woman’s descent into insanity, but also for the power of its testimony to the importance of freedom and self-empowerment for women.