Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All About the Brontes Challenge 2010

As 2009 quickly draws to a close, I find myself adding one more challenge to my list for 2010. This challenge is hosted by Laura's Reviews.

The All About the Brontes Challenge runs from January 1-June 30 2010. In this challenge you can read a book, listen to the audio version or even watch a TV or movie adaptation. Any texts related to the Bronte sisters in any manner are acceptable. Participants are encouraged to reread past favourites. The goal is to read, watch or listen to 3, 6 (or beyond) anything Bronte.

I reread Jane Eyre this summer and found that it is one of those classics that gets better and better each time it is read. I was assigned the novel in a Victorian literature class in University, but that was close to 20 years ago now. I know that I really loved the novel back then, but wonder if I truly absorbed all that it had to offer. You know when you watch a movie multiple times and think, "How could I have missed that part, that nuance, that 'look'...?" I was particularly enthralled with the first half of the novel where Jane endures a horrific childhood with Mrs. Reed and then later at Lowood School. For me, the most poignant part of the novel was Jane's relationship with Helen Burns. I could barely breathe through the section where Jane snuck into Miss Temple's room to see Helen as she was dying. It was so much more than one little girl should have to endure. I also wish that Charlotte had written some more about the demise of the Reeds. I'm not sure that I felt completely vindicated on Jane's behalf. How I wanted to hear more details of the downward spiral of Mrs. Reed and her detestable and abusive son!

I also reread Vanity Fair by Thackeray which is another all time favourite. Becky Sharp is the ultimate (anti) heroine. I'm also considering returning to novels I did not enjoy and the top of that list would be Tess of the d'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy. How I plodded through that novel at the time... but did I miss out on a terrific story?

I love Dickens and Austen and Charlotte Bronte, but the Bronte's as a family, I have largely neglected. I believe I read Wuthering Heights in High School but do not remember much of it which is surprising because I love grand, gothic, moaning, on the wild untamed moors, type tales.

Here is my list for the challenge:

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte


Laura's Reviews said...

Thank-you for joining my All About the Brontes Challenge! You have a great list and I can't wait to read your reviews as you delve into reading the Brontes!

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