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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte

Firstly, I would like to thank the good people at Avon- Harper Collins for sending me a review copy of Syrie James' new book, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte.

I have been savoring this book for the past week, and many were the times I stopped to smile at the scenes as they unfolded. It's a delightful read, and at times the thought occurred to me that it would make the perfect companion novel to the BBC's mini series 'The Brontes of Haworth.'

The novel does a fairly good job of guiding the reader gently through the affairs of the Bronte household from shortly after Charlotte's return from Brussels. From the start, there is no question that the crux of the story will be Rev. Bronte's curate, Mr. Nicholls and, more particularly, his relationship with Charlotte. A very interesting story, and one in which the literary repercussions of this relationship shadow the main actors without overwhelming them.

This novel is especially appropriate for someone who is not familiar with the circumstances of life in the Bronte family as the first two chapters include enough biographical details to set anyone up for what is to come.

The characters are all well drawn and it is interesting to see the ease with which fact and fiction merge as the novel bends situations, postpones revelation, and otherwise tweaks events to create a novel which is not quite a biography.

The text of the book is also accompanied by substantial footnotes, maps, and an appendix with excerpts from Charlotte's letters and other important documents such as Emily's poems. The book is also suitable for book clubs: there are discussion questions included in the appendix.

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte can be purchased for $10.19 from Amazon.com or £6.99from Amazon.co.uk.

10 comments:

Laura's Reviews said...

This sounds fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back and thanks for the review!

Laura's Reviews said...

Hi! I'm hosting the "All About the Brontes" Challenge from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2010. I thought you might be interested in joining or at least checking it out!

http://lauragerold.blogspot.com/2009/11/all-about-brontes-challenge-2010.html

Ash said...

I just got this book and after your review I'm glad that I did!

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Wendy H said...

Definitely on my reading list now! Thanks you for posting!

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