Book: Romancing Miss Bronte (a Novel)
Author: Juliet Gael
Rating: 3 Stars
Basic plot: A novelized version of the biography of Charlotte Bronte. The book covers her days at Haworth leading up to becoming an author, along with her sisters, to her untimely death.
1) It’s about Charlotte Bronte. Need I say more?
2) Having studied the life of Charlotte Bronte myself years ago, I can say that the author was able to capture her life amazingly. The book reads like a biography, yet also like a novel. Well done!
3) I loved, loved, loved the stories of the events that led up to the publication of Jane Eyre.
4) I thought she did a good job weaving Arthur into the story. The book begins with his arrival at Haworth, and he keeps popping up throughout. [SPOILER] (Of course, he’s very much the focus in the latter part of the book when he reveals his esteem for Miss Bronte and eventually convinces her to marry him.) [END SPOILER]
5) The passages dealing with Branwell were heartbreaking (in a good, but sad way)… how the sisters have to deal with their brother.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) [SPOILER] Arthur is no Rochester. I really wanted to root for him and Charlotte as a couple, but I felt something lacking in him as the “hero” of a romance. This may be a casualty of fiction vs. real life? I feel the author tried to somehow morph Arthur into a Rochester-mold towards the end of the book. And yet, I wasn’t fully convinced. Again, it’s hard to put this into words. [END SPOILER]
2) Every so often, the dialogue/narrative would give what I came to realize are nicknames for various people. For example: Emily and Anne call Charlotte “Tally” which threw me a few times before I realized to whom they were speaking. And Elizabeth Gaskell seems to be “Lily Gaskell”? Who’s Lily? Is that Mrs. Gaskell herself or perhaps it’s her daughter??
My rating is 3 Stars (out of 5) – I enjoyed reading this book. Biographies about my favourite authors are usually a safe bet for me. I liked how she was able to weave the biography part in with the novel part.