I must admit something – I’ve never read Wuthering Heights. Are you shocked? You should be! I am. This summer I intend to remedy that – in fact, I am making plans to read Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. Romancing Miss Bronte struck home with me and I am desperate to read and understand all three books with the light shed on these sisters.
This year I read Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler and was fascinated by the story being told.. but Juliet Gael goes even further – and I found myself falling in love with Arthur Nicholls, Charlotte Bronte’s eventual husband.
But first, I want to say that there were parts of this book that were so perfect that I got chills. A scene is described in which Anne and Charlotte are being accompanied home by a gentlemen who is absorbed in reading Jane Eyre. At this point in time, Charlotte has not been revealed to be the author and the scene unfolds in such a beautifully written, graceful way that it brought a smile to my lips and such a sense of serene satisfaction that, for a moment, I understand the Bronte sisters’ desire for anonymity.
At another point in the book, Gael describes a scene which must have been common for these three girls – the quiet room with just the scratching of quill on paper; an occasional shifting of paper from one set of hands to another in search of opinions. Oh, how I would have loved to see this scene.
The story of Charlotte Bronte is so incredibly romantic and tragic it’s no wonder that her books were so successful. This was a powerful, insightful look at the sisters and a new favorite of mine.