Sunday, February 28, 2010

Becoming Jane Eyre

Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler
Penguin Books, 2009; 232 pages

Summary: An examination into the lives of the Brontës as Charlotte embarks on writing her most famous novel, Jane Eyre. Starts in 1846 and continues until her death in 1855.

Why I Read: I saw this reviewed at Laura's Reviews and I put it on hold at the library; I also knew I would count it toward the Brontë challenge. I am a big Janeite but I am trying to learn more about the Brontës.

My thoughts: It's a slight book is my lasting impression. It is also somewhat disconcerting in that it is told in shifting third person; so it starts with Charlotte's point of view but it also shifts to her sisters', her father's and some other people's points of view. I enjoyed finding the connections from her life to Jane Eyre (the only Brontë book I've read all the way through). They also seemed a bit more real to me; I've had trouble with the other Brontë books because they just seem so dour and written by people completely lacking a sense of humor. That idea is not completely dispelled by this book but they do seem a pretty progressive family and I liked seeing them sitting together and reading their work aloud to each other. On the other hand, I am more interested in picking up Agnes Grey and giving that a try now so I think the book is good for that purpose.

Overall: 3.5/5 for encouraging me to read more Brontë but not a book I would necessarily recommend unless it was to a diehard Brontë fan.

First book for Brontë challenge!

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