Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Bronte Plot Book Review

SUMMARY:  When Lucy's secret is unearthed, her world begins to crumble.  But it may be the best thing that has ever happened to her.
     Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious liberties to reach her goals.  When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy's secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend, James - leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt and trouble.  Something has to change: she has to change.
     In a sudden turn of events, James' wealthy grandmother, Helen, hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion.  Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own.  In fact, Helen understands Lucy's predicament better than anyone else.
     As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen's wisdom as Helen confronts ghosts from her own past.  Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters' beloved heroines who, with tenacity and resolution, endured - even in the midst of impossible circumstances.
     Now Lucy must face her past in order to move forward.  And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail - if only she can step into the life that's been waiting for her all along.

REVIEW:  Before reading this book, I had seen a lot of posts saying how much they enjoyed this book; the characters were engaging and they loved everything about it.  As much as I want to say the same thing, I can't.
     I did enjoy some of the story, like Lucy and James when they first met and dated, and Lucy and Helen's time at Haworth.  My favorite part was Sid's forgiveness of Lucy's "liberties" at work.  Even though he had to do damage control, I love how he still mentored and forgave Lucy and did what he could to help her.  Lucy taking responsibility for her actions and calling the people involved in her dishonorable exploits made me really admire her.  It took a lot of courage and determination.  The redecorating of the Inn in Haworth was another fun part.  I love the creativity Lucy had and how she tailored it perfectly for Bette's budget. 
    There were many times I felt the story fell flat.  The story references the literary works of the Bronte sisters many times.  Since I haven't read any of their stories and know only a very little about any of the story lines, I wasn't able to really pick up or understand the associations the way someone who is familiar with these things would.  When Helen returns a watch, I found it difficult to relate to her actions and reactions afterwards.  Lucy's plans to visit Bowness-on-Windermere and trick Helen into going just seemed odd.  I understand why she wanted to go, but it seems to me Helen would have understood if she would have just explained why.  The part that included Anthony, Lucy's dad, was difficult to read in that I could see exactly what he was doing and the trouble it would bring.  Lucy was so much like him but I'm glad she realized it and wanted to make a change.
This book was provided by Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson Publishers 
for review without compensation.

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a lifelong affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries.  After earning degrees in history and marking from Northwestern University, she worked in not-for-profit development before returning to school to pursue her MTS.  Katherine lives with her husband and three children in Chicago, Illinois.  Visit her website at, on Twitter at @Katherine_Reay or on Facebook at katherinereaybooks.

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