Sunday, August 12, 2012

{Review} Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

I finally finished it! Which sounds really bad because it's not a hard read at all. At all. This summer has just been so busy that I've been reading it sporadically.

OK. I confess. "The Tutors" has been free on On-Demand and I've been binge watching the whole thing (see my last post).

But now I'm ready to talk about a book.

It was my personal mission to read something by all three Bronte sisters and now that I finished "Agnes Grey," I have done it!


This was a great, easy-to-read book (even if it did take me a while to finish). Agnes comes from a small, country family that's very humble and kind. Her father's declining health motivates Agnes to go to work so she can send home money (yay to working girls!)

Let me stop and just say that Agnes' mother, Mrs. Grey, is a great early feminist character. She leaves a wealthy family to marry a man she loves, even if he doesn't make that much a year. And then she goes on to start her own school towards the end of the book. Now there's a woman in charge!

Back to the story. Agnes works as a governess (olden-time teacher/caregiver) so she lives with a rich family and teaches the children and kind of raises them too. The dad is off working. And the mom is off... doing something... important? I really don't know? Probably having tea and watching birds.

But the kids are spoiled and rude. If anyone has babysat, worked in daycare or even as a teacher, you will APPRECIATE this book.

Agnes works for two different wealthy families in this book. While with the second family she meets a handsome mad who fancies her as well.

Their love story is a typical 18th century English love story - they hint and slightly flirt (touch hands) and then at the very end (SPOILER ALERT) they confess their love to each other.

That was the only thing I could say about this book - the end was a bit anti-climatic. But I am glad it ended the way it did. If it had just been prolonged or developed a bit more, it could be something very poetic and lovely and special.

However, this book is worth the read. Unlike her sister's novel, "Wurthing Heights," there's not nearly as much gothic/drama - which I don't really care for. The characters are easy to follow. Some of the situations are funny and will make you LOL (especially if you have experience with kids). The language is kind of simple, though, so I think that's why it didn't become as popular as her sisters' books.

If nothing else, read it to explore the character of Mrs. Grey. She's great!

From Anne was as old as I am now when she passed.

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