Villette by Charlotte Bronte Review

Villette

Villette by Charlotte Bronte

Published 1853
Genre: Classics
Format: Kindle ebook
Other Books by this author: Jane EyreShirley
Buy this book: Amazon – Barnes & Noble
“VilletteVillette! Have you read it?” exclaimed George Eliot when Charlotte Brontë’s final novel appeared in 1853. “It is a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre. There is something almost preternatural in its power.”

Arguably Brontë’s most refined and deeply felt work, Villette draws on her profound loneliness following the deaths of her three siblings. Lucy Snowe, the narrator of Villette,flees from an unhappy past in England to begin a new life as a teacher at a French boarding school in the great cosmopolitan capital of Villette. Soon Lucy’s struggle for independence is overshadowed by both her friendship with a worldly English doctor and her feelings for an autocratic schoolmaster. Brontë’s strikingly modern heroine must decide if there is any man in her society with whom she can live and still be free.
I am honestly so happy for being a member of the Classics Book Club. This was our read of the month. Villette would normally be the type of book I would never pick up on my own. I had never heard of it before and it is incredibly long, almost 500 or more pages. Without the encouragement of my fellow readers, I have thankfully pushed through this book and really found a hidden gem in my first read of a Bronte’s work!
The hardest part about reading this book is the character of Lucy Snowe, yet she is also the best part about this book. Lucy is the most complex character that I have ever read. She does not even read like a character, but like a person. She is troubled by the problems of her past and is closed off to the people around her, including the reader. The first person writing style is so different from what we see in today’s modern novels. Very little is known about her, yet the reader still cares deeply for what happens to her. Yes, she does make some bad decisions and is frustrating, but she is a very smart character at the end of the day. She is easily the heart and soul of the book.
The plot of this book is really nonexistent. Like I said, the main point of this book is the life of Lucy Snowe. It is like a contemporary novel in this type of way. We follow her through her journies in her new home of Villette, France and all the people she meets there. I found it interesting how she ended up working as a teacher for Madam Beck. The minor characters were also really interesting. I really loved the character of Ginevra. She provides some comic relief and I loved her banter with Lucy! There is a great cast that really has so many cute developments. 
The writing of this book is also a little bit hard to read, but I liked that. In modern day novels, it is so easy to just read quickly without really process what they are saying. Parts of this book are in untranslated French, because they are in France. With my Kindle, it translated these passages for me, but otherwise, it was a bit difficult to try and decipher them. However, it really pushed me as a reader and I really enjoyed that challenge for once!
Overall, this was a great book to read, and something I am very happy I decided to pick up! I loved the character of Lucy and she is definitely the highlight of this book. 
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2 thoughts on “Villette by Charlotte Bronte Review

  1. Pingback: March Wrap Up | Neon Yeti Reads

  2. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Classic Books | Neon Yeti Reads

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