‘Full of lush and colourful prose… Hester proves that a woman will do whatever she must to prosper’
SARAH PENNER, author of The Lost Apothecary
A captivating imagined tale of the woman who inspired Hester Prynne, the tragic heroine of The Scarlet Letter, mining the legacy of the Salem witch trials
Glasgow, 1829: Isobel, a young seamstress, and her husband Edward set sail for New England, in flight from his mounting debts and addictions. But, arriving in Salem, Massachusetts, Edward soon takes off again, and Isobel finds herself penniless and alone.
Then she meets Nathaniel, a fledgling writer, and the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows during the Salem witch trials – while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. Nathaniel and Isobel grow ever closer. Together, they are dark storyteller and muse; enchanter and enchanted. But which is which?
- PRAISE FOR HESTER *
‘In dreamlike yet vivid prose, Albanese weaves a story about nineteenth-century Salem, a place with a dark history where secrets still abound’
CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE, author of The Exiles
‘A masterpiece. Rich in detail and hauntingly lyrical… enthralling, ambitious, and a total knock-out’
FIONA DAVIS, author of The Magnolia Palace
‘Audacious and very entertaining’
BREENA CLARKE, author of River, Cross My Heart
‘Luminous… a spellbinding tapestry’
AFIA ATAKORA, author of Conjure Women
‘This page-turning and poignant novel beautifully imagines the untold life story of the woman who went down in literary history wearing a scarlet letter’
ALICE ELLIOTT DARK, author of Fellowship Point