Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Charlotte and Emily by Jude Morgan
"From an obscure country parsonage came three extraordinary sisters who defied the outward bleakness of their lives to create the most brilliant literary works of their time. Now, in an astonishingly daring novel by the acclaimed Jude Morgan, the genius of the haunted Brontes is revealed an the sisters are brought to full, resplendent life: Emily, who turned from the world to the greater temptations of the imagination; gentle Anne, who suffered the harshest perception of the stifling life forced upon her; and the brilliant, uncompromising, and tormented Charlotte, who longed for both love and independence, and earned their ultimate price."
(from the publisher)
I approach every book I read with an open mind and with great anticipation. With my passion for all things related to the Brontes and their works, I chose Jude Morgan's Charlotte and Emily for the Victorian Reading Challenge as the publisher's blurb seemed quite promising. Unfortunately, after a few chapters in, I was ready to call it quits.
I've read quite a few biographies and Bronte-inspired novels, so I wasn't really expecting to find any new revelations...there just wasn't any depth to any aspect of the story. I found that Morgan's characters were not fully formed (each sister had such unique personalities and characteristics) and they came across as flat paper-dolls. In my opinion, the life of the Brontes, while tragic and bleak, had great passion and genius and the whole effort to tell this story just fell flat. I had to force myself to finish this novel.
I'm in the minority here -- mostly glowing 4 and 5 star ratings by other readers so many people found it to be a very satisfying read. I guess this just goes to show that "no two people read the same book."
Title: Charlotte and Emily
Author: Jude Morgan
St. Martin's Press
genre: historical fiction