After thoroughly enjoying The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen and The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, it will come as no surprise that I enjoyed this book as well! It also doesn’t hurt that I always forget how much I love the Brontës when I’m not reading about them and then as soon as I start reading about them I quickly fall back in love with them. I’m super excited that I’ve got Wuthering Heights to re-read again this year!
The only other Brontë fan-fiction I’ve read was Becoming Jane Eyre in February of last year. I remember enjoying it and of course there were overlaps with this book, as this book covers a lot broader swath of time than the last. This book covers a long period of time and through flashbacks even includes a lot of the Brontës’ youth. It is noteworthy, although not shocking at all, that there are many similarities in writing style and stories in the two books. We know a lot more about the Brontë siblings than we know about say Austen or the more reclusive female writers.
What a busy month! It’s amazing how even though I didn’t work a full week at work the entire month, it feels like I’ve done nothing but work! I guess that’s part of gearing up for the students to return. I did get the amazing postcard, below left, from my friend Courtney who clearly knows me better than she should!
I didn’t want this book to end and that’s really all I want to write for this review, but I’ll harp on for a good while I’m sure. I’m sad that it’s over but happy that I read it. The ending made me both smile for the cuteness of it, but also made me sad it was finished! I wanted to know so much more about the characters and the stories and everything! There was just so much left unanswered, but not really because we’re left on the precipice of the amazing post-World War future. I bought a copy of this back in April of 2012, so it counts as a bonus book for my Mount TBR challenge.
Two things stood out for me in this book and those are the multitude of unique voices for the numerous characters and their point of views and the fact this was a World War II novel without the war taking the role of protagonist or overshadowing everything else.
For February the hosts of The Classics Club have asked What Classic has most surprised you so far and why?
And I’m not sure if it’s just the books I’ve read or the questions themselves, but I constantly seem to be going back to the same book to answer these questions. I’m glad I checked to see what the next few questions were or I would probably have given up on the monthly memes after this month.
I’m starting to get an inkling as to why Charlotte Brontë was so bent on keeping Emily and Anne’s writings out of the public eye, but I will save that pronouncement until I read more of her novels. Villette counts as my 8th (of 9) novel for the Back to the Classics challenge, is on my Classics Club list and is my final novel for the 2012 Mount TBR Reading challenge (keep an eye out for my wrap-up post).
Villette is Charlotte’s third published novel and the fourth she wrote. It is the second novel, Jane Eyre was the first, that I’ve read by Charlotte. As with all of the Brontë’s works a portion of this novel comes from Charlotte’s life and you can definitely see the influences in the themes of loneliness and even with whom Lucy Snowe falls in love with. It was an interesting read and rather long, but overall I would say I enjoyed it, but am not in love with it the way I was in love with Anne and Emily’s work. For me this would definitely change if the novel were grouped differently. There were a lot of chapters and the story meandered along at times and I feel that if the some of the chapters were shuffled and the novel divided into distinct volumes it would’ve been easier to read. I also think the book was about 100-150 pages to long, but we all know that’s a common issue I have with the classics.