Book Review: Villette

by Charlotte Brontë

I technically started this book in September, but I set it aside for a while and didn’t finish it until last week. Towards the end I had to force myself to read fifty pages a day just to finish it. That said, it’s not a completely horrible book, but I was not a fan.

Too many of the occurrences were amazingly contrived. For instance, the main character, Lucy Snowe moves to an entirely different country and yet still manages to run into her godmother and, in a completely different fashion, a little girl for whom her godmother cared for ten years apart? No, don’t think so.

Also, Brontë’s prose, while brilliant, is very often preach-y. A big thing she seemed passionate about in this book was the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism. But this was not too well-woven into the story. Long passages devoted to it exist instead, just barely tied onto the characters.

I liked the main character, but thought her final relationship was a bit disappointing. She ends up with a man who has tormented her for most of the book, in a very condescending way. She seems to end up with him because she is sympathetic to his past and he buys her a school.

Still, it’s got some interesting characters, but not one I’d read again.


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