The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne
As I found with "The Scarlet Letter", this novel took a long time to get going. But I found that it very quickly became engaging from the point at which Westervelt enters the story; his entrance is the first of a number of the fascinatingly strange scenes for which I like Hawthorne.
[side note: I sometimes wonder whether the Danish director Carl Th. Dreyer had read Hawthorne. I recently saw his Day of Wrath, and was struck by how closely the feverish and obscurely allegorical atmosphere of portions of that film resemble my experience of reading Hawthorne. I also find them alike in that the works tend to be pretty boring for at least the first half...perhaps it heightens the reward when it finally -- finally-- comes?]
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