Book Review: The Bronte Plot
ashley | Books about books, not to mention inspired by Bronte? And there’s a redhead? The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay sounds like it knows exactly how to speak to me! Unfortunately, it was just a lot of talk that didn’t really bring me anywhere.
First, let’s talk Lucy. I did not like her. I wanted to, I tried, but I just couldn’t like her. She seemed smart and bookish and vibrant and I really wanted to relate to her (red hair, remember!). She seemed so together, but her apartment was unfurnished and not put together. She seemed intimately drawn to books and literature, but she endlessly made up stories to get what she wanted and defaced books by writing fake inscriptions in them to add value to their resale. She hated what her father was, but she basically followed in his footsteps and then ran right to him when she had the opportunity. She was a mix of contradictions that just didn’t sit well with me. If nothing else, at least she was a flawed and complex character, which I’m usually pretty enamored by, but she just seemed like a mess and not really in a charming and good way.
I’ve been having a hard time believing connections between people in books lately. Everything is always so sudden and short lived but said to be this big, glorious relationship, without really delving into any examples to build up to this point. Lucy speaks about James as the one, but we were given absolutely no insight into any intimate connection between them. I just didn’t believe it and I actually wasn’t really rooting for her and James, to be honest. I thought he had every right to lose his interest in her after finding out about the silly little lies she’s always weaving.
I love, love, loved all the literary references, though. That was what made me pick this book up and it didn’t disappoint. I also really loved the trip to London. I’m familiar with London and I always love revisiting places I’ve travelled by reading about them in stories from a different perspective. So reading about the literary landmarks in London on this random trip Lucy and Helen took was delightful for me!
This odd pairing, Lucy and Helen, was interesting as well. I didn’t quite understand how it came to be, seemed a bit like a stretch, but they were both looking for something similar, trying to come to terms with their past selves and reform their current selves. I can appreciate that and I found this underlying reasoning interesting and inspiring when I looked past the flimsy reasoning behind it.
I don’t know, I wanted to like this book and I enjoyed all the literary aspects but honestly I didn’t really enjoy the story itself that much, nor did I really enjoy the characters. It felt like it kept trying to reach a point, to share a lesson born from all the lies and misleading, but it never really got there. I understand what was trying to be done with the characters too, but again, they just never fully formed for me. Sadly, this book just didn’t do it for me.
November 3, 2015