Another incomplete review…Villette by Charlotte Brontë

I’ve been listening to Villette by Charlotte Brontë on audio book and I’m almost done. I have maybe 40 minutes to go. By this point, I’ve gotten the gist of the story and am now simply waiting for things to be tied together. It is a good book. An interesting one. I might even share a more thorough review once I’m finished with it. The thing is though…I feel like I was lured in under false pretenses. This is how the book was described in its Goodreads bio:

“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.”

Italics added.

You see, I braced for a love triangle. I expected a “strikingly modern heroine” trying to find a man that would let her continue to teach or at least let have her own opinions or something. That’s not what I’m getting. Lucy Snowe is a somewhat interesting character in the mode of Jane Eyre but nothing spectacular. She doesn’t so much “decide” to look for a man as much as she falls for the only two men of her acquaintance. The one it appears she will end up with in the end is selfish, chauvinistic, sexist, and possibly bipolar. I wouldn’t mind so much if this book wasn’t presented as something modern. Maybe it will end well? We shall see. 

 

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