Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: The Bronte Sisters

The Bronte Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne
By Catherine Reef
Expected publication October 23, 2012 by Clarion Books

Some of the most well-known and beloved authors of all time, the Bronte sisters lived brilliant but tragically short lives. Get to know the women and discover the stories behind their famous works.

I wouldn't say I'm a particular fan of the Brontes - I think the only book I've read was Jane Eyre and that was many, many years ago. I requested an e-galley of this title because I like reading non-fiction, especially that geared toward a youth audience. I was interested to see how this title would appeal to young adult readers. I don't know how many young adults read non-fiction for pleasure (I know I certainly didn't), but I think this would be a great choice for those that do. Since I'm not all that much of a Bronte enthusiast, I was pretty clueless about their lives. Reef provides a detailed and evocative portrait of not just the sisters, but the entire Bronte family. I think even those who are Bronte fanatics will find something new or interesting in this biography. I loved hearing the stories behind their novels - the Bronte women were more progressive than I might have thought. I was also surprised to learn of their beloved brother, Branwell, and the tragedy of his life. The inclusion of photos, paintings, and letters helped put context on some bits of the biography. I think, most importantly, reading this biography made me very much want to read the novels of the Bronte sisters. If it has that effect on all readers, then I think this book has done a wonderful thing. I really enjoyed this.

Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via NetGalley.

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