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An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of  400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger.  Enjoy ARCs and new releases. 




The House of Hawthorne

The House of Hawthorne - Erika Robuck
ISBN:  0451418913
Publisher:  NAL/Penguin Random 
Publication Date:  5/5/2015
Format:  Other
My Rating:  4 Stars
A special thank you to Penguin First to Read for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Erika Robuck, the "queen" of bringing historic literary characters of times past- alive, on the pages with passion and inspiration, delivering THE HAWTHORNE HOUSE, a remarkable and vivid portrayal of talent, tragedy, loss, and love in an era of unrest and complication.

From letters and journals, paint brushes and canvases, words; a couple, a love, sadness, fame, poverty, and beauty. An unlikely marriage between Nathaniel Hawthorne and novelist, Sophia Peabody, the invalid artist, was indeed a romance of two souls content with words, passion, and creativity, while other things of the world continue to get in the way of this couple’s happiness and contentment.

From Massachusetts, England, Portugal, Italy to Cuba, crossing continents, children, family, and turbulent times, an inspiration of a couple, caught in a time of opposition, health, needs, and desire. From the 1830s to the Civil War, two devoted talented and strong willed personalities, driven by desire and creativity, a forgotten woman who inspired one of the greatest American writers.

Sophie was Nathaniel’s dove. Sophie, an artist from an early age and her sister met Nathaniel first; however, when he met Sophie he was in love. However, there were outside interference from both sides of the family. No one was urging them to marry.

As so many highly creative people, the couple enjoyed their solitude, away from the world and all its loudness and clamor, even though they were acquainted with some of the most talented literary minds in American literary history, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. As Sophie found to be true, authors are forever unsettled. Longing for solitude to work, but when the words would not come, he acknowledged the interaction with people would indeed stimulate his ideas.

“Nathaniel was wrong about the limitations of words.” In that most holy book, it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Words are the bridge to the Eternal. They hold the power in the cosmos to conjure, transport, condemn, unite, and destroy. “If Nathaniel had understood that the words were arrows in his bag instead of barriers, perhaps then he would have found peace.”

“I know the power of words and the way they reach off the page to the reader, dissolving all borders of time and space. I understand how words expand the minds digesting them, allowing those who sit in quiet rooms to embark upon grand adventures with people they could never meet with the circumference of their own lives. For those who do not fear the vocation, it is our change to put down the words, one after another. To make a case. To make a story. I must share his life, because the world needs his story, my story.”

A beautiful and absorbing love story, Robuck transports readers to a time when one extraordinary woman, managing her family, the demands of motherhood, and a constant encouragement to her husband, to get his stories down on paper, content to fill her days with her child, though feeling some measure of guilt for neglecting her own art. They are happy and poor and content, while each night they cling to one another for dear life.

Highly recommend to readers of historical fictional, and well-researched account of literary writers, with passionate storytelling and a vivid view at mid-19th century times - a moving and rich literary journey.
Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1236837518