Emily Brontë loves her sisters, responsible Charlotte and quiet Anne, and her brother, tempestuous Branwell. She loves the moors that stretch all around her home and the village of Haworth, and she loves wandering over them even in the worst of weather. Most of all, she loves the writing that she and her siblings share, creating imaginary kingdoms, vivid characters, and exciting adventures.
But change comes to the family when their beloved father falls ill, and Emily's happy, isolated world crumbles. Charlotte is sent away to school, where she meets new friends and new ideas. Branwell is growing up and becoming absorbed in his own concerns, with no time for little sisters. And even dependable Anne, in the end, lets Emily down. She is left alone to face her enemies—old insecurities from the past that haunt Emily, and threaten to overwhelm her.
Will Emily be able to conquer her fears? Will she come to terms with the power of nature that, for all its wild beauty, also brings death and destruction? Will she be able to master the fierce passions of her imagination and find her own true voice?
From the award-winning author Jane Eagland, The World Within tells the story of a young writer struggling to find herself, and offers a window into the mind of the treasured but mysterious author of Wuthering Heights.
Well, this is embarrassing. As someone who considers herself relatively well read, I know of the Bronte sisters in only a vague, pedestal-classics-women-only-wear-dresses kind of way. Apparently, I’m not mature enough to put that aside and just read a book. Unfortunate and unfair when reading for review, I almost allowed my uninformed opinion of the main character to cast a shadow over the entire effort. Absolutely asinine; I dig so much about this book.
I loved that Emily grew by leaps and bounds in some ways; staying self-limiting to the extreme in others. The author’s adoration and admiration is clear and contagious. Ferociously fond, Ms. Eagland is nevertheless fair and forthright. Emily has faults that she may never notice but the author acknowledges in a skillfully sly, demonstrative way.
Clearly consumed with compassion for her siblings, Emily nevertheless continues to anticipate issues incorrectly. Almost illustrative of something that Hank Green recently said, “I think that the longer you know someone, the easier it is to think that you know what they think all the time and that leads to really bad communication. When you’re like, I already know how you feel about this, so I’m not even going to ask.”
Ms. Eagland does not portray Emily as a heroine, nor does she gloss over the young woman’s courageous, self-less acts. Feisty and fierce, Emily does not always choose the best battle to fight, in spite of being considerate and thoughtful. Wise and well-informed on the one hand, naïve and somewhat sheltered on the other; I found it interesting and intriguing to witness her acquisition of knowledge. I loved that she changed her mind quickly, compulsively to adopt and embrace the completely opposite opinion.
Engaging and exhilarating, Emily takes center stage but the spotlight certainly shines on the charismatic cast. Curious and considerate, interacting with different people has a ripple effect as Emily first defends, then reconsiders her stance on practically every topic from religion to women’s role in society. As it turns out, any preconceived notions are irrelevant. The World Within is simply an interesting story about an intriguing young lady.
This review was written for Buried Under Books by jv poore.
I wanted to like this more than I did, and I really wish there had been more about the Brontes' imaginary realms and Emily's own stories--although I guess not many of her early work was preserved. It felt as if the lack of verified information about Emily's life hampered the story; I think I'd have preferred it to be more fictionalized if that made it more dramatic. The author brings up some interesting points about the inequality of the choices open to Branwell, the one male Bronte sibling, and his sisters, but Emily's story never really came to life for me. The one major event, besides Emily's going away to school, is Emily getting bitten by a dog she thinks may be rabid. For reasons that are never fully explained, she keeps it hidden from her family and waits to see if she's going to die. Meanwhile, all I can think of is that there's a (possibly) rabid dog wandering around the moors--but no, that's not information you'd want to share with your neighbors!
Borrowed on a whim this YA novel turned out to be a great escape read. First the title and then the cover caught my attention. Finally, that it is a story about Emily Bronte sealed the deal for me to read it. I could easily picture the village of Haworth, the parsonage and the moors surrounding them, so I allowed the author the help me picture Emily’s life.
Not much is known about Emily Bronte, the author of Wuthering Heights. Eagland takes the meager historical record and combines it with clues from the Brontes’ written works to create a window into the life of the Bronte siblings when they were teens.
Emily, Charlotte, Anne and Bram were raised in isolation at the edge of the moors near the village of Haworth. Theirs was an unconventional upbringing, with the girls receiving an education very similar to their brother’s. Emily is ill-prepared to cope with boarding school. She is socially awkward and resents the rules that dictate her behavior in every aspect of her life, after a childhood of relative freedom.
When Emily returns home, she struggles with changing family dynamics. Charlotte is teaching at school and Anne wants her chance to attend. Bram indulges in reckless behavior, drinking and gambling while squandering precious opportunities for advancement. Father is gravely ill. Emily’s safe haven is eroding and she cannot escape into her imaginary world to write. Slowly Emily emerges from her sheltered world to make a new friend (Mary) and discover that a neighbor’s son finds her as attractive she finds his (irresistible) library, and to raise a puppy into a faithful canine companion.
Eagland does not stray far from what is known about the Brontes, so the action a little flat and the characters are not completely rounded out. However, for fans of “Wuthering Heights,” this volume will provide some back story about the book’s author.
This is a novel of Emily Bronte, not a biography. You have to know that before diving into this book. Emily's life is lovingly crafted by Jane Eagland (Wildthorn) who weaves a story based on actual events, but, as Eagland states, not necessarily in the order they actually happened. If a young person picked up this book because he or she enjoyed historical stories of families/England/the moors/life in Britain in the 19th century, he or she might enjoy the story even knowing nothing about the Brontes (or, it may stir an interest in the reader). Having read Bronte biographies, I did like the parts of Emily's life that I recognized: her home in Howarth, her love for her sisters, Branwell's struggle with finding a career, Papa's love for his children. Two parts came as surprises to me and I would like to explore them further: 1) Emily was an intense introvert and 2) she wrote the Gondal stories with her sister, Anne. What has happened to those stories, no one knows. This book could be read in sixth grade and up, but I think that high school students might find it of most interest.
I want to thank Jane Eagland, the author and Goodreads First Reads Giveaway for my copy of The World Within that I won in the Giveaway.
I Found The World Within interesting and enjoyed how the author brought out the differences to opportunities available to men and women on the times. The telling of the lives and making them so clear (fictionalized) was in keeping with showing the challenges they must have faced. I enjoyed the book.
I quite enjoyed Jane Eagland's "The World Within". I had read Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights" and some of her poetry, but did not know much about the author, except that she was the sister of Charlotte and Anne, and that she had used the pseudonym Ellis Bell. I thought the author did an excellent job of bringing Emily Brontë to life, considering the lack of historical information regarding her and the fact that she died so young (30 years old). The writing was enjoyable, clear and easy to understand. The book was organized well and made for a quick, yet interesting read. I would not hesitate to read more of Ms. Eagland's works in the future. I'm actually hoping she does a book for Charlotte and Anne as well. Even though this book is a work of fiction, it is grounded in enough fact to make many readers want to learn more about the Brontë family. This book was won from the Goodreads.com website.
Emily Bronte hates two things: Change, and new people. So when her sister Charlotte goes away to school, Emily struggles to adapt to the changes this brings into her family's lives. Her brother Branwell is growing away from his sisters, her father's health is weakening, and Emily's own desire to create stories is increasingly undesirable in a young lady.
It's hard to put my finger on what I liked about this. Since The World Within is set during Emily Bronte's teenage years, there's no grand dramatic plot here. I'm not even a huge fan of Wuthering Heights, which is referenced a few times throughout the book. I think it was Emily herself that I liked, though she was far from being a model of feminine decorum. I too created worlds of my own as a kid, and I too hated being asked to leave them and socialize. So I suppose I related a good deal to Emily there. I think I would have liked this book as a girl, since I was always seeking out characters who were a little 'off'.
A simple story, a quiet coming of age.
Age Rating: Any age. There's nothing adult about this. Star rating: 7.5 out of 10. Would I recommend it? Sure. Would I read more from the same author? Sure.
It ended up taking me almost two months to read and finish this book, and it is because the book was extremely uninteresting to me. I skimmed a majority of the book because it was so overly uninteresting. "The World Within" is about Emily Bronte, although the book never had a distinctive plot line or a definite conflict within the overarching book as a whole. There were a lot of anecdotes within that didn't really seem to contribute to the never-nearing conflict, that, when what I would suppose was to be the major conflict, it didn't seem as major as other events that had occurred earlier.
Though, I suppose it does have it's place in literature, I did not find it interesting at all.
I feel torn about this book. On one hand, I quite enjoyed it. It gave life and spirit to the Bronte sisters. On the other hand, there were times when I felt like ripping my hair out and screaming down Emily Bronte for being so damned introverted.
I loved the sophisticated language used to express one's feelings. I made connections with Emily as girls and share the same dilemmas. I really enjoyed the book, I have added more to my knowledge of Emily Bronte.
The author plainly states that this is a work of fiction based on the life of beloved writer Emily Brontë. This is not a biography. I wish it were. I loved reading the amity and conflicts between the siblings. I loved how the moors take on their own character, one that had me glimpsing Catherine and Heathcliff. I loved the first person narrative and how Emily confronted her own doubts, misunderstandings, and creative growth.
I wept with this imagined Emily as she struggled with crises both significant and temporal.
Silly me: I loved Grasper almost above all else. Enough said. No spoilers; read the book.
This started off promisingly enough, and it has bright spots and points of interest throughout; given the subject and the concept, I wanted to adore it, but I didn’t.
The issue I have with this novel lies solely with the author's depiction of Emily Bronte; as that is a personal quibble, I give this book 3.6 stars for literary merit alone.
The novel is well-written and edited (there were some oddities, such as the use of the verb goes in place of more formal words - e.g. "Branwell goes to respond,...", but after a bit they felt natural and seemed the appropriate choice) which I appreciated. Descriptive language abounds without overwhelming, capturing the melancholy, wistful and wild emotion many of us associate with Bronte. Minor incidents that spark young Emily's imagination are skillfully woven into the overall plot, leaving Easter eggs for those who've read Wuthering Heights (the most blatant example comes when Tabby, the Brontes' help, relates the story of a neighbor who raised a brooding, somewhat-near-related orphan under his own roof, only to have the boy behave like a wild animal and then disappear to who knows what fate... sound familiar?). The dynamic between the four Bronte children is familiar and relatable for readers with siblings, and the struggle for Emily to allow outsiders (Charlotte's friends) into her family's circle is sympathetically and believably narrated... to a point.
We have all come to terms with the fact that there just isn’t that much known about the Bronte sisters, despite how badly we want to know them; Emily, especially, is the object of much speculation, and while she may have been painfully shy and reclusive, the character that develops in this novel comes across not so much as that as judgmental, selfish, manipulative, and arrogant, with an extremely well-nurtured martyr complex.
As I read, I found myself disgusted by and often lecturing Emily; I forgot that she was in her late teens and was astounded, during the chapters in which she was attending boarding school, to realize anew that she was sixteen-almost-seventeen -- I had been carrying a mental picture of a 13-year-old! Her behavior is often simply inexcusable. Clearly she is intelligent, but she is belligerent (see the entire way in which she handled her bite from the potentially-rabid animal) and crafty, sullen, and totally socially backward; I cannot conceive of an Emily Bronte - such a master of our language - who was unwilling and, more than that, unable to carry on intelligent conversation with other human beings, no matter how shy she may be. It offends the sensibilities. Perhaps that was the author's angle, however - an Emily who can only wax eloquent on the page and in her home; among strangers, nearly a mute. To be considered, I suppose.
Regardless of how much I disliked Jane Eagland's representation of Bronte, I respect the fact that the character was developed. To a very, very fine point. I felt as though I knew her well (did I mention that I disliked her?), or rather, this particular idea of her, to the point of predicting her reactions. I also appreciated that Eagland admitted that this is not an historical novel, but merely her own ideal of the Bronte home and family; however, though she mentions that some of the incidents and anecdotes are factual, I would have loved to know which ones, specifically (for example, SPOILER did Emily's dog - and best friend - really die such a horrible death? It certainly reads like "something you can't make up," but I would have liked to know, for my own peace of mind, if Eagland did just that).
To those of us who still read Bronte as romantics, this novel will be terribly disappointing; the woman who dealt such sweetly harsh blows to our sense of happy-ever-after and convinced us that we wanted to move to the moors and brave their moods for the chance to bask in their glorious beauty is... not. In her place is a dearth of any romantic feeling, a maelstrom of social anxiety coupled with fierce protectiveness towards her kin and a staunch rejection of that which is other. She is feminist and not feminine, she is anger and heartache and no forgiveness.
The takeaway from this rant is-- it is a well-done piece of work. It captures a life and a soul and a psyche and presents them as a complete unit to the reader. Whether that being is Emily Bronte is debatable, so I would only recommend this to a reader who is open to ideas about Bronte's personality, or who also sees her in this light. Romantics, steer clear.
Step into what Eagland imagines it would have been like in the Brontë household as Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne step from childhood into adult life. Emily is our narrator. She loves their family writing times. She loves rambles over the moor with her dog. And she loves the safety of home. She does not like change, and unfortunately, there's a lot of changes involved in growing up.
It's hard to know how to summarize this book. There really is no one overarching plot line or grand conclusion. Most fictionalized biographies end with the author getting published for the first time, but this one doesn't even get that far (for any of the Brontës). Eagland has this end with Emily composing the poem "To Imagination," a step up in maturity for her writing, but not the ending I was expecting. I only gave the book two stars not as a reflection of the writing but as a reflection of how much I enjoyed it. I liked the middle part of the book as you really get to know the Brontë siblings and the moors. The four Brontë siblings of this section of the book reminded me quite a bit of the March sisters in Little Women. There's the outspoken sibling, the perfect model eldest sibling, the sweet but sickly sibling, and the spoiled sibling. Sound familiar? But the last fourth of the book is just so pitifully sad. Emily is portrayed as shy to the point of almost adopting selective mutism in public. She views all strangers as hostile and judgmental before even giving them a chance. She is quick to cut herself off from family after one misunderstanding, and though she berates Branwell for not understanding love, it is actually Emily herself who doesn't seem to have any understanding of unconditional love or trust, which means she's a very lonely person. She's rejected her father's teachings about God after the deaths of other family members. And as the book goes on she starts to shut out even her own family members. She thinks she can survive on her own will power and the worlds she creates. And the book ends with Emily supposedly being happy in the realization she only needs herself and nature for a happy life, but I'm not convinced. I understand being a shy introvert very well, but Emily is way beyond the normal shy introvert. She seems a very anti-social young woman with no understanding of her fellow human beings and no desire to explore their true motives for actions. She's quite content to think the worst of them. I can't imagine how this sort of woman is supposed to have written a romantic story with realistic people. I'm glad this is fictionalized. For the real Emily Brontë's sake, I hope she was a little more socially adept and not quite so obtuse to the affections of others. I liked the setting and the writing of Eagland, but Emily was not a pleasant heroine to spend much time with.
Notes on content: Maybe 3 mild swear words. No sexual content. A dog bite is somewhat described an a lightning strike that causes a mudslide, but no other violence.
"The World Within" is a historical novel imagining the lives of the three Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, along with their brother Bramwell, during their young adult years. The central character is Emily Bronte, and though little is known about her, the author makes the character seem very real and alive, while remaining true to what is known about her.
Emily Bronte's childhood was unusual and somewhat unconventional; for example, she and her sisters were given an education similar to that which their brother Bramwell received. This was unusual for that time, as girls were often given an education that placed more emphasis on learning the arts of running a household; seldom were they given an education covering such subjects as foreign languages and the classics. They lived with their widower parson father in Haworth parish surrounded by the wild beauty of the moors and English countryside.
Emily's character is portrayed as shy and socially awkward and she was happiest while roaming the moors alone or writing. In their younger years, the Bronte children created imaginary worlds peopled with extraordinary characters and entertained themselves by writing stories about them. As they grew older, they had to think of a means for supporting themselves after their father died, and at that time, becoming a governess was about the only option open for poor girls who did not marry.
Charlotte was sent away to school first, and became a teacher. Emily was then sent to the same school, but was miserable, missing her family and the freedom she had been accustomed to at home. She never felt like she belonged at the school and was eventually sent home, so that her sister Anne could take her place. Emily had to grapple with the many changes happening in her life, including Charlotte teaching away from home, an ailing father, and an opportunity squandering brother.
This book is written in the first person using the present tense, which took me a little time to get used to. Several times, I caught myself mentally changing present tense to past, because, at least in my mind, it sounded better. I did get used to it eventually, although if I had been writing the book, I would have chosen past tense from the start. That was the only thing that I really didn't like about "The World Within", but otherwise, it was an awesome book and I enjoyed it very much. I shall now look forward to reading "Wuthering Heights"!
Against all expectations, given that it was written long ago and written by a woman--not my view but the view of publishers at the time--Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights continues to captivate middle grade readers even today. Perhaps it is her description of the isolated, lonely moors or possibly the tragic love triangle and enduring passion described in the book, but for whatever reason, that title endures long after its author's passing. Fans of the book or the others by the Bronte sisters will find this one interesting for the glimpses in provides into Emily's life, her brief and unpleasant experiences in boarding school, and the relationships among the Bronte siblings. The author does not portray Emily as perfect but instead describes some of her petulance and foolish decisions, even hiding her bite from a possibly rabid dog from her family. Clearly, she is still suffering from the deaths of two older sisters and more enchanted by what's at home than the larger society, and it might have been helpful to explore why that might have been the case. Clearly, the author did her homework and obtained as much information about Emily and her sisters and brother as is available, but oh, how I wish there had been more to explain some of her ways. Still, readers will be able to see the inspiration for some of her writing in the events occurring around her or through the stories told by the family cook. The book is a sad reminder of the different expectations placed on males and females through the contrast between the opportunities provided to her brother Branwell and how those afforded to the sisters. The hints of feminism and Emily's annoyance over those who would get so distracted by love provide some insight into this particular period in history too. The author brings the time, the place, and the personages to vivid life here, leaving me simply wanting so much more. Even Emily's deep affection for Grasper shows the level of emotion of which she was capable, and his death scene is heartbreaking. Although this is, indeed, historical fiction, I would have loved to have known more about she conducted her background research and wrote the story. Perhaps as more of these sorts of books are published about this fascinating family, readers will have more clues as to what made them so creative and so unique for their times.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I should start with the fact that I don't really like Wuthering Heights. It's so depressing and gaudy. I've thought about giving it another try, since it's been over a decade, but I can't seem to work up to it.
That being said, I really do love Jane Eyre, so I was still intrigued by the concept of a book about the Bronte sisters.
It took me a long while to even get into it because the writing is so odd. You know when people talk about themselves in the third person?
That's how the whole book read.
Emily stabs the white calico in exasperation.
Emily puts on an innocent look.
It was different than just a normal third person telling. Probably because there was lots of tense-switching hi-jinks happening. Point being, I didn't like it.
Then there was the story. To be fair, it's apparent that this novel was very lovingly crafted. Eagland obviously loves the Bronte sisters and cares a great deal about them. She also makes it very clear that this is a NOVEL first and that, while some of the events took place, most of it is how she imagined it would be.
The thing is, it's rather dull reading about the day-to-day circumstances of, well, anyone. Natalie woke up and had breakfast. Natalie walked to work and had a long hard day. Natalie went to bed. It's very difficult to make any of that very exciting. Since she already knew it wasn't going to be that historically factual, I would've appreciated a little more drama, a pretend romance, a scandalous secret...anything would've sufficed.
I doubt I will be reading anything else by Eagland, I just can't connect to her style. For those that really love the Bronte's, you might find this a teensy bit amusing.
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. This was the story of Emily Bronte and her sisters, Charlotte and Anne and their brother Branwell. It was an interesting story exploring Emily's feelings about her home, her family and their expectations of her for her future.Since her father is the pastor of their church, the family lives very simply and frugally.When they scrape up enough money to send Charlotte away to school, Emily is devastated. She liked things the way they were. When she returns Charlotte is different. Gone is the closeness they shared, plus now she has made friends with two girls, Ellen and Mary, who come to visit. Emily does not like the idea of houseguests but does find she likes Mary because she speaks her mind. Through the story you see how different it was for women back at that time. They did not have careers,unless they were a governess or a teacher. Women were expected to stay home and take care of their husbands and children. It was a good and interesting story. I give it 3 1/2 stars
I received this book from Goodreads in exchange for a review.
Jane Eagland brings to life the remote world that the Bronte family lived in, where the four siblings spent a great deal of time creating an imaginary world far different than the one they inhabited. But when their Father becomes ill, their sheltered life slowly opens up. Branwell seems to be the first to venture beyond the close knit family bonds, making friends with other village lads and stretching his wings. Then Charlotte is sent off to school. Emily finds herself resisting those things that slowly bring about a change within her small family. And when her time comes to head off to school, she is unable to cope, so she returns to the safety and security of her home. Eventually even young Anne leaves the nest to venture into the world, leaving Emily to come to terms with her own fears.
I think Eagland did a remarkable job of researching and filling in the gaps in the earlier years of the Bronte siblings, most especially Emily, who tragically died so very young.
Fans of the Bronte sisters, particularly Emily who wrote WUTHERING HEIGHTS, will find this a satisfying read. Historical fiction is based in fact and then fleshed out with details and perspectives which give breadth and depth to what is already known. In this case the author gives readers a glimpse into the mind, heart and spirit of Emily Bronte as well as her sisters. And there lies the beginnings of what would later become some well-known works of British fiction. Leading a rather sheltered life their imaginations became their friends and allies. The moors where they often walked allowed time and space for thoughts to have free reign. The rest is history.
I usually blaze through books, and I haven't recently. it took me a month to finish, which surprised me. I haven't read Wuthering Heights in nearly ten years, but I liked it better than Jane Eyre and thought I'd enjoy this. it's not a bad book, but it ends somewhat abruptly (in other words, I just got into this book! your father let you down by saying Charlotte couldn't be a writer! I wanted you to defy him by becoming Elis Bell! ...I suppose you were pretty close but I wanted you to get closer to that!)
anyone else get the impression she was trying to subtly make her a lesbian near the end? (didn't mind, didn't care, but thought it was interesting.)
It was interesting to read about the Bronte sisters. I enjoyed how the story stayed true to the period and some of the facts that are known about the Bronte sisters, while still maintaining an entertaining fictional narrative. It was great to be able to get into the mind of the author of one of my favorite books of all time. I feel that Eagland's Emily was both believable and entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
I was really excited to read this book and get some insight on the Bronte sisters life, but I could not have been more disappointed. It was incredibly boring and Jane Eagland made Emily out to be a heartless person and I don't think that she was. I have now learned that most of the book is fiction so I am happy that the Bronte sisters didn't actually have all of those stupid, boring events happen in their lifetime. Don't waste your time because it is really lame and boring.
Of the Bronte sisters, the work of Charlotte was always my favorite, however Wuthering Heights was always intriguing. The mix of gothic horror and historical novel, and of course Heathcliff, made for an enjoyable read. This book explored the life of the author of that intriguing story. Emily always seemed to be the most thoughtful of the sisters. Her erratic, and at times difficult, family life affected her deeply. This was a well done fictionalized biography.