Long before Maury Povich came on the scene to reveal paternity, people just had to take the mother’s word for it. The problem in this novel is that Hester Prynne isn’t talking. Her husband cannot be the father of her child, because he is thought to be two years at the bottom of the sea. Rather than leave the confines of her strict Puritan town, she stays and is forced to wear the letter “A”, for “adultery”, upon her chest. So who is the father? One who speaks eloquently about the Heavenly Father, and who suffers unimaginably in hypocrisy and shame. His secret letter “A” is the agony within his heart.