In which my sorry attempt to embrace the classics continues rather unsuccessfully.
This was published in 1851 and was based in small part on a real house of seven gables where lived Hawthorne's cousin Susanna Ingersoll. The story supposedly has some supernatural and witchery elements to it, but I never made it that far. The novel has its moments and offers some sweet turns of phrase here and there (or should I say hither and thither?), but for the most part it was tediously rambling and just when I thought it might get interesting, when a new broom in the form of the main character's younger cousin showed up, it almost immediately went back to rambling on and on, and it bored the pants off me. I never did find out what happened to those pants.
A somewhat old maid, Hepzibah Pyncheon lives in the house and decides to open a little store in one part of the building, but she really has no idea how to go about it. Her cousin Phoebe shows up unexpectedly from out of town, and starts turning things around in the store while falling for another cousin named Clifford. The rather sleazy Judge Pyncheon sticks his nose in where it's unwanted, and that's about it for the first portion of the book. It wasn't holding my attention at all, and so based on what I read I cannot commend it.