This just might be at the top of my list of best novels! Better than The Scarlet Letter, this novel had it all...from mystery to romance the characters were so richly described, one had a sense of a real connection with them. Having real depth to a plot that was at once both dark and bright it was a hard book to put down - the best kind! In the story, a first floor room in the house of seven gables was transformed into a small general store where much of the story centered. This store was actually in the real house and when touring it was able to view it.
Drowne's Wooden Image
A short story set in Boston describes the life of a wood carver who has just been contracted to carve the figure-head for the prow of a new ship, the Cynosure. From a block of solid oak and mysterious direction from the ships captain, Drowne carves a masterpiece figure-head of a young woman...
"Then came a sensation of fear; as if, not being actually human, yet so like humanity, she must therefore be something preternatural....Who and from what sphere this daughter of oak should be?"
Walking through the streets of Salem, these figure-heads can be found on almost every corner. This short story provided the rich history of figure-head carving and mystery behind the design - a must read!
Footprints on the Sea-Shore
A personal favorite, one that not everyone would enjoy. Living on the East Coast, my love of the ocean and the tranquility it provides, seemed to be captured in the lines written. A short story of one man's day of needing to get away from the world - a day spent on a deserted stretch of beach. So beautifully written it was a peaceful break from his typical writings - I had to make sure he wrote it! I believe this was the only story he wrote not involving death.
It may have taken 40 years to accomplish what as a child seemed so easily done, but with everything in life one must make the time and take advantage of the time they have - this was one year of precious time I would definitely give up again! Now on to the next author!