July 23, 2010

Romancing Miss Bronte
By: Juliet Gael
414 Pages

During the two years that she studied in Brussels, Charlotte had a taste of life’s splendors—travel, literature, and art. Now, back home in the Yorkshire moors, duty-bound to a blind father and an alcoholic brother, an ambitious Charlotte refuses to sink into hopelessness. With her sisters, Emily and Anne, Charlotte conceives a plan to earn money and pursue a dream: The Brontës will publish... Transforming her loneliness and personal sorrow into a triumph of literary art, Charlotte pens her 1847 masterpiece, Jane Eyre.Charlotte’s novel becomes an overwhelming literary success, catapulting the shy and awkward young woman into the spotlight of London’s fashionable literary scene—and into the arms of her new publisher, George Smith... But just as life begins to hold new promise, unspeakable tragedy descends on the Brontë household, throwing London and George into the background and leaving Charlotte to fear that the only romance she will ever find is at the tip of her pen. But another man waits in the Brontës’ Haworth parsonage—the quiet but determined curate Arthur Nicholls...--bn.com

I enjoyed this book very much. Not knowing much of anything about Charlotte Bronte proir to reading Romancing Miss Bronte, I now feel I have a better understanding of who she was. The relationship she shared with her sisters and brother was touching to read. I was heartbroken as they were when it changed as they got older. But to see the connection and closeness writing gave the sisters was a joy to read about.

The story begins after Charlotte and Branwell have returned from their positions abroad. Both had fallen in love with someone they would never be able to have. For Branwell, it left him an eternally bitter and angry man. For Charlotte, it left her with a broken heart that never fully mended. Realizing that upon their father's death they would have very little to live on Charlotte, and her sisters, agree to publish a collection of their poems. However, Emily will only agree to it if they use pseudonyms: Ellis, Acton, & Currer Bell are then born. Poems only sells 2 copies, so the sisters try again with the idea of each writing their own book.

Anne's Agnes Grey and Emily's Wuthering Heights are published together. And while Wuthering Heights becomes the subject of controversy, neither has the success that Charlotte's Jane Eyre has. Charlotte's life is forever altered with the release of Jane Eyre. However, it doesn't shelter her from the devastating losses of her siblings. Nor does is keep her from falling for men who are not able to love her back.

With her publishing life as the back drop, Charlotte navigates the heartbreak, joy, highs, and lows life holds. As she gets older, her dreams change, and she finds love in the last place she thought it would be. I enjoyed getting to know a little more about the woman who wrote some of the most well known, and beloved, books of all time. Romancing Miss Bronte left me wanting to read all of Charlotte's books again. I also want to read Elizabeth Gaskell's biography of her dear friend The Life Of Charlotte Bronte. I am so glad I read this book, it was a touching glimpse into the life of a remarkable woman.

Rating: Buy It/ Borrow From The Library


Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read on July 24, 2010 at 1:30 AM said...

This is a great review, Jen! I am a huge Bronte fan and now I put this novel on my wishlist. Thanks for sharing!

Jen on July 24, 2010 at 10:29 AM said...

i hope you enjoy it!! thanks for checking out my review.

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