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Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese


Even though it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, I still enjoyed this book so much! It’s marketed as 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘏𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘗𝘳𝘺𝘯𝘯𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘦𝘵 𝘓𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 but hit a little different than I was expecting. I was thinking there would be more romance—and while there 𝕨𝕒𝕤 that, it was not fully a romance imo, but more a story of a woman’s fortitude and will to succeed during a time and place when so much was stacked against her.

In the early 1800s Isobel travels to America with her new husband and as soon as they arrive he decides to leave her utterly alone in a new land. She has no money, no prospects, and must find a way for herself in this new society while he’s gone for months—or possibly longer.

Here's the blurb:

Isobel Gamble is a young seamstress carrying generations of secrets when she sets sail from Scotland in the early 1800s with her husband, Edward. An apothecary who has fallen under the spell of opium, his pile of debts have forced them to flee Edinburgh for a fresh start in the New World. But only days after they've arrived in Salem, Edward abruptly joins a departing ship as a medic––leaving Isobel penniless and alone in a strange country, forced to make her way by any means possible.

When she meets a young Nathaniel Hawthorne, the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is a man haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows––while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. As the weeks pass and Edward's safe return grows increasingly unlikely, Nathaniel and Isobel grow closer and closer. Together, they are a muse and a dark storyteller; the enchanter and the enchanted. But which is which?

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