Next on my to-read list for this year was a Charlotte Brontë novel I’ve been meaning to read since college: Villette. I’m slowly working my way through my classics shelf via my Over Drive app (yay for audiobooks!) and I’m happy to have read this amazing book.
Jane Eyre is the Charlotte Brontë novel most people are familiar with, but this one, Villette, was Charlotte’s last novel and her most autobiographical. Even though it took me forever to read, this classic is a must-read!
What it’s about:
Villette is about Lucy Snowe, an Englishwoman in the late 1800s who has very little family, no money, and very few opportunities to live on. She moves to a town in Europe named Villette, which is Victorian-literature ~code~ for Brussels. She manages to talk her way into a teacher’s position at a finishing school, and eventually meets and falls in love with the headmaster. The main portion of the novel is about Lucy’s unrequited love for the headmaster of the school, and dealing with who she is as a person.
Lucy Snowe is my favorite character. She’s an extremely passive person, and lets things happen to her without acting upon any circumstances, but there’s some inner peace and strength about her that I admired while reading this book.
“I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots. I believe that this life is not all; neither the beginning nor the end. I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.”
Why you should read it:
I think I took a while to like Lucy as a person, but once I did, I felt like she was a character without a lot of fire or feistiness, but someone who learns how to take care of herself. I could respect that, and I ended up feeling like this book was very rewarding.