The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hester Prynne has a bastard child. It doesn't sound like much today, but place it in Puritan Boston and watch society use the stigma in an attempt to destroy a good person. The story may be difficult for the modern reader at times, yet it is worth whatever trouble one can encounter. Was there ever a better time for American literature than the 19th century when moving characters, great writing, and intriguing plots ruled the page?