Villette: Book Review

Villette Book Review

Charlotte Bronte’s Villette is an excellent piece of literature. Described with a very flowery and poetic manner, Villette book introduces us to Lucy Snowe. The story is based on the 1st person perspective so it is more like an autobiography of Lucy. Lucy is a sensible young woman without own family, struggles throughout life and losses with kindness and grace. Bronte has depicted Lucy as to be of shying from her own appearance. Moreover, keeping her opinions out of sight from us and waiting for a time when it better suits her.  

Beginning with the plot Lucy Snowe as a girl stays with her godmother Mrs. Bretton and the latter’s son Graham and also with a little house guest named Paulina Hume. As time passes, when Lucy grows up to become a woman, she is compelled to move away from England, due to her loss of her mysterious family. She steps ahead completely alone, to an unknown state as a foreigner.  Lucy becomes a traveling pal to Miss Marchmont and later ends up in Villette, France as a governor to the school’s matron’s 3 children. Then, she is offered a job as an English teacher. 

Coincidently, John Graham Bretton also ends up in Villette as a doctor. However, does not recognize Lucy or show no interest in her even if he recognizes her. Lucy developing a love for John since childhood now suffers from heartbreak. John is in love with the cousin of Polly, Ginevra Fanshawe but she has more than one suitor and the relationship doesn’t work out. The story twist in a way that John later familiarizes with Polly and falls in love, soon they get married and Lucy puts an endeavor to move on, she focuses her attention elsewhere and forms a friendship with M. Paul Emanuel, literature professor. Although she didn’t like him at the very beginning, she later on, discovers a firm and devoted friend in M. Paul and grows to love him.

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Few-time later, M. Paul leaves to Europe to take care of an estate in West Indies. Prior to his departure, he tells Lucy that he has made a home and school for her. Hence, in his absence, she takes care of the school and looks forward to a happily ever after future with him. But alas, she is left to live her life alone and depressed as the text indicates that M. Paul dies while returning back to Villette.

It might turn into a frustrating book for those readers (especially romance fans) who are expecting the ending to be happily ever after.  Moreover, readers have to be aware that Villette is a novel that is much more about the inside of Lucy’s mind than anything happening outside. So, readers must be able to tackle what actually is happening in the environment and what Lucy is weaving in her mind. Just as for me it took me 3 to 4 attempts at some places to grasp the characters and events. Without having knowledge regarding the concept of Victorian French-Catholic and Anglican beliefs, it is impossible for normal readers like us to understand the characters’ angst. So I would not recommend this book to those having faint-hearted and who hate slow pace narration. 

Villette, is the last novel of Charlotte Bronte that is very long and needs a strong patient and careful analysis. So I would recommend this book only to those who are willing to read the book from the core of the heart, is promised to having patient and reading more than once when the situation arrives. Villette book has simply much to offer making us aware to keep alive our dreams and desires that we might have forgotten long ago. I would rate 3 out 5 as Villette book review. Villette book download can be performed from Amazon using its Kindle app. Or else you can simply have access to Villette pdf from the link mentioned below.

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