I pick up books for all sorts of reasons: I like the author, it looks interesting, I like the cover (another dirty reading secret), a recommendation from a friend…
In this case, I saw this comic from Hark! A Vagrant posted on Facebook. I didn’t get though Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte). I thought Bertha was the best part of Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte). Since Anne was the black sheep of the hero-writing sisters, maybe I should give her a try. My husband joked that I was reading like a hipster, because Charlotte and Emily were too mainstream.
I got through The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (go, Anne!), but I didn’t like any of the characters. Not even the heroes. She certainly didn’t shy away from writing about abuse or alcoholism, so I give her kudos for that. What really annoyed me was that no one talked to each other. I realize this is a complaint more about the style of the time than of the author’s style, but really, for all the pages of dialogue, no one said anything.
Character 1: I don’t think you should marry him.
Character 2: But I love him.
C1: But there are some faults in his character that I will allude to for three paragraphs but never actually mention.
C2: See, you said nothing to dissuade me from marrying him because I didn’t understand that X meant Y.
There were multiple dramatic points that could have been avoided if people had just spoken up or asked a question rather than assuming. Ug.
Think your niece is about to marry a whoring alcoholic? Say so. Your landlord is really your brother? Don’t let the guy you like think your brother’s your lover…just tell the truth.
In an earlier post, I mentioned how odd it was to read characters that actually spoke what they thought (Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series) and how that seemed weird. Well, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall would the on the opposite end of the spectrum. I wanted to shake some sense into these characters…even though that flies in the face of the don’t-shake-your-wife message of one of the scenes.
Anyone here a Bronte fan? Ever read Anne?