Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sheila Kohler - Becoming Jane Eyre: A Novel

44. Becoming Jane Eyre: A Novel by Sheila Kohler (2009)
Length: 247 pages 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 19 August 2016
Finished: 27 August 2016
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 19 August 2016
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and Sheila Kohler is a new author for me.

The year is 1846. Somewhere on the outskirts of the industrial town of Manchester, a young woman cares for her critically ill father. Seated in a darkened corner of her father's bedroom, she begins to write the novel which will ultimately become a true classic. As she writes, Charlotte Bronte will be transported by her memories back to the cold, damp parsonage on the bleak Yorkshire moors of Northern England where she has spent her entire life.

It is while living in her father's parsonage that Charlotte Bronte received many of her literary influences. Indeed, the Bronte family seems to have been dealt so much tragedy through the years, that it is almost as if they all lived under some sort of a disastrous curse. In turn, Charlotte and her siblings used such personal tragedies as inspiration to write their own literary works.

A mother and two of her children die; a sickened father - without fortune - and hardened by the deaths of his wife and two eldest children, is left to raise his four surviving children to adulthood. A much-favored son is ultimately destroyed by alcohol and his addiction to opiates; and three strong, intelligent young women - facing impoverishment and eventual spinsterhood - seemingly have nothing more tangible to save them from their fate: nothing, that is, except their remarkable literary talents.

So unfolds a beautifully imagined tale of the Bronte sisters and the writing of the gothic novel Jane Eyre. Sheila Kohler's extensive research and wonderful imagination recreates the Victorian era world of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte - vibrantly bringing to life the indelibly-entwined rivalries of these three loving sisters and struggling young writers. At the center of this poignantly imaginative story is Charlotte Bronte and the writing of her novel Jane Eyre; and the overlapping narratives of author and heroine - including Charlotte's romantic infatuation with a married man.

Delicately unraveling the powerful and inextricable connections between one of fiction's most enduring heroines and the remarkable woman who created her, Ms. Kohler's novel will definitely appeal to fans of historical fiction and, of course, the millions of readers who adore Jane Eyre.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Yes, I have read so much about the Brontes already, but in my opinion this book really brought everything that I learned into sharper focus for me. This was such a poignant novel; written from an entirely different perspective and I really came to understand how difficult it was for the Bronte sisters to follow their passion. I would definitely give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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