From the fervid response to the notice I posted yesterday (see blog entry below) about the new novel Hester from author Paula Reed, wherein the heroine of The Scarlet Letter gets involved with political intrigue due to her newly revealed magical powers, I can only guess the book will be a big hit.
However, I thought I could make it even more commercially viable. See what you think… (My addition bolded for your convenience.) Ms. Reed is free to use my suggestion without any obligation to share the huge financial windfall it promises.
Hester Paula Reed. St. Martin’s, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-58392-7
In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne hints that after Hester Prynne’s husband and lover die, Hester and her daughter, Pearl, travel abroad. In her inventive if implausible debut, Reed takes this suggestion and runs wild with it, beginning with Pearl’s inheritance of a small fortune. Eager to start anew, Hester uses the money to travel to England with Pearl and to find a suitable marital match [with a sparkly vampire]. Upon arrival, Hester reunites with a childhood friend whose husband is an ally of Oliver Cromwell, and when Cromwell learns of Hester’s magical ability to see other people’s sins, he recruits her to help ferret out those plotting against him. She acquiesces, only to become deeply embroiled in political intrigue that threatens to destroy the new life she’s created. A few romantic trysts spice up the story and result in some un-Puritan-like scenarios, though it’s hard to imagine Hester using a word like “cock” or describing postcoital “shudders of pleasure.” Pearl has been similarly revised, though Reed frequently puts words into the precocious girl’s mouth that are stilted and wise beyond her years. Nevertheless, in revisiting this classic, Reed has created an entertaining and unlikely sequel. (Feb.)