Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 1864) was one of America's most famous writers. Best known for the classic book The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne also wrote many other well known books and short stories including The House of the Seven Gables and Young Goodman Brown. Hawthorne's writing centers around moral issues and the psychology of humans and is dark in nature. Much of this is due to Hawthorne's shame of being related to one of the Salem Witch Trial judges. John Hathorne was Nathaniel's great grandfather and the latter added the "w" to his name in order to hide that relation.
I enjoyed this book and found that The Blithedale Romance was full of mystery and intriguing characters.The book was based upon Hawthorne's experiences at Brook Farm, a short-lived utopian community. It's not a work of social criticism but it does touch on women's suffrage, prison reform, spiritualism and other economic, political and cultural issues of the time. The beginning of the book is a little slow but the end chapters are full of drama and tragedy as the friends turn to foes. I highly recommend the Blithedale Romance especially if you like character-driven tragedies.