Apr 122010

A Vivid and Intimate Look at the Brontes

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Amazon Vine

Similar to the style of Nancy Moser and Syrie James, Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael is a biographical fiction novel that integrates fact with fiction and blends true events with inferred dialogue. These types of novels have been growing more popular as of late and are wonderful for readers who are interested in the lives of historical figures and authors but not too keen on reading a biography or nonfiction work.

Romancing Miss Bronte begins in the year 1845 with the arrival of Arthur Bell Nicholls, the new curate for the Haworth parish. At this time Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell were all living at the Bronte Parsonage with their father, Patrick Bronte. The sisters were consumed with tending their father’s home, caring for the disgraceful and egocentric Branwell, who was addicted to alcohol and opium, in addition to publishing their first volume of poetry together. The story unfolds from here, depicting the sisters’ dreams and ambitions as well as their fears and sorrows. Rich with detail and historic framework, Romancing Miss Bronte presents a vivid and intimate look at the Bronte family between the years of 1845 and 1855.

The title may be a little misleading because the story isn’t one that is centered upon the romance in Charlotte Bronte’s life. While there are two men that Charlotte contemplates marriage with, it is not the main part of the story. Furthermore, having read novels by the Brontes is not necessary in order to understand and enjoy this book. However, if you have read novels such as: Jane Eyre, Shirley, and Wuthering Heights your pleasure in this novel will be enhanced. I’m always amazed to discover how much of Charlotte’s writing was drawn from her life experiences and impressions. Continue reading »