Maya Rock's Reviews > Villette

Villette by Charlotte Brontë
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 20, 2012

it was amazing

This book is really good. As the George Eliot quote in the review puts it:
"Villette! Villette! Have you read it?" exclaimed George Eliot when Charlotte Brontë's final novel appeared in 1853. "It is a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre. There is something almost preternatural in its power."

I felt so much for Lucy Snowe and her struggles--I felt the mixed delight in being with Graham held together with the knowledge that he couldn't ever fully see her. I was with her with all her longings for something more yet her determination to be prepared for disappointment. And so many of the secondary characters were well done too, particularly Madame Beck. There were also many scenes that took my breath away, as in that one toward the end when Madame Beck and she meet and are honest for the first time (with few words; when she assumes Justine-Marie and Paul are together. Oh and the funny ones with Ginevra were great (like when Ginevra comes to console her about the headache and the conversation quickly turns to Ginevra's headaches). All those are toward the end--but also that moment in the sickroom when she recognized Graham and when she and Graham went to the theater.

The nun subplot was great--what was so funny was in some ways this was really Jane Eyre grown up. A lot of the elements introduced there are explored better here and nothing embodied that better than the nun--in JE it was a real woman in an attic, but in this book it was entirely a phantom--there was a more heightened realism in Villette without losing the soul and romanticism seen in JE and in fact, those qualities seemed even more pronounced in this book. Also to successfully portray attraction to two different people I think is difficult to do and it is pretty well done although I can't say a part of me didn't just prefer Graham--although his constant need for an audience did get annoying.


Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Villette.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.