Susie's Reviews > Villette

Villette by Charlotte Brontë
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's review
Apr 10, 12

it was amazing
Read from February 01 to March 09, 2012

**Readers beware.....if seeking Jane Eyre or its twin substitute, this is not the same novel. ** Having said that, go ahead and plunge into Villette and wrack your brain around true, visual and beautiful writing that make other authors sound like preschoolers. I had to read sentences over and over again to fully comprehend the complexity. This novel is not so much a well-paced journey to an ending, but a long arduous march of despair, loneliness, poverty and critical thinking. Are you think wondering why I gave it five stars? Hang in there.

There were times I wanted to give up on Lucy Snow. I really did. (Thank god for audiobooks. I can't tell you how lovely this book is being read to you.) In the first two hundred pages, there is very little celebrate, with the plain, penniless heroine seeking occupation or employment far away in the country of France, with little hope of improvement,....poverty one step away. There are echoes of Jane Eyre everywhere in Lucy Snow. She is the woman of which no one gives much notice, who flounders in other women's beauty, and is the underdog to every situation. Unlike Jane Eyre, which had some glimpses of light and reprieve, I felt like I was making a tedious journey that would have no reward, and I was a little upset about it mid-way through the novel. Suffering through long soliloquies concerning poverty, art, education, religion, I thought, "What is going on here? What in the hell is this?" And then, darn it, Lucy Snow, I realize you've been holding back, playing the reader for a fool, creating a smoke and mirrors game that I was too stupid to see. You are very, very clever, Charlotte Bronte.

Without giving anything away, the last hundred pages are like a gift that has been wrapped again and again, making the reader to remove layers, constantly be surprised at the new turns. Despair, happiness, despair, happiness. It was enough to make me scream. But now that I'm done,.....I want to start it all over again, (truly, not lying), to understand the clues that I fully missed on the first time through. A true classic, in every sense of the word.

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Reading Progress

02/07/2012 page 17
02/17/2012 page 79
16.0% "Picking up a bit.....liking it."
03/07/2012 page 152
31.0% "Ok, finally. Not really loving this, not Jane Eyre, but finally picking up a bit."
03/09/2012 page 317
66.0% "Ok, ok.....turning 180 degrees now."
03/13/2012 page 391
81.0% "Almost finished. Driving and listening by audiobook is superb, (love it!)....but trying to reach for the book to look for the French translations not so much."
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Danelle I was just thinking of re-reading this! I hope you like it.

Susie Didn't you just read it last year? Its kind of pathetic of me.....but I downloaded it for free to my iPhone to I can read in thise odd moments without anyone knowing. at work.'s Dave doing after his surgery?

Danelle I did just read it last year. It was the best book I read in 2011.
Dave is in pain. They are saying he should be able to start running again in 6 months. It was a complete tear/rupture. There was some fraying of the tendon as well.

Susie How long will he be at home? Completely non weight bearing?

It always seems to happen to people who are trying to play a sport like they were in high school. A friend mine had the same thing happen playing high school reunion volleyball.

What a bummer though.

Danelle He'll be home for at least 3, possibly 6 weeks. He won't even get his boot for 2-3 more weeks. They are thinking around week 6-7 he may be able to start bearing weight. We'll find out more at his first post-op appt.

Danelle I feel a great sense of relief after reading your review; I was so afraid you wouldn't like it & that I'd put you through all that aching despair & untranslated French for nothing!

Susie I loved the Freench. It felt so international, especially with great narrator reading it. I did 50/50 book and audio. But this book was soooo deceiving. Until the end, I was all over the place on my emotions concerning it. But I really want to retread it now. knowing the facts.

message 8: by Clif (new)

Clif Susie, if I remember right, Villette is closely based on the facts of Charlotte Bronte's actual life, particularly her and Emily's experience in a Brussels boarding school. She made Lucy the teacher instead of the student. In Jane Eyre, she, of course, makes Jane the student in an oppressive school, closer to her own lived experience.

Susie It is a very fine novel with incredible writing. A sleeper perhaps, overshadowed by Jane Eyre, but it's equal, if not better.

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