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The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë…
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The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë

by Laura Joh Rowland

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Where to begin? This is one of the best bad books I've listen to since The Wild Baron by Catherine Coulter. If the heroine were not Charlotte Bronte, it would have been a simple overly-melodramic adventure/romance. But adding to escapist's ultimate cou de gras is Ms. Bronte leaving the vicarage to become a victorian dectective being plunged into a nefarious kidnapping of the Queen's children and falling from virtue at the hands of a dreamboat fighting the opium wars. Ugh from me, but romance lovers will find this a treasure. I only finished it to see how the author finished it. ( )
  Allyanaz | Dec 15, 2016 |
Since I know that in reality Charlotte Bronte lived a somewhat sad life and died young, it was nice to fantasize through this novel about one of my favorite authors having a few adventures of her own. Charlotte's adventures are somewhat contrived - she witnesses a murder on the streets of London and gets pulled into the case, which ends up involving England's royal family. Despite the far-fetched plot, it was fun to imagine Charlotte solving mysteries and finding love with a mysterious gentleman. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Mar 12, 2016 |
Ludicrously awful...one of the worst things I've read. I knew before picking it up that it might be disastrous, but I also thought it had the potential to be good in a madcap, Eyre Affair kind of way. PROTIP: if you want use Charlotte Brontë as the first-person narrator of your book, it's not enough to address your audience as "reader" several times--try working on characterization and writing style, too! ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
It's a good thing I listened to this on audio instead of reading a print book. I'm not generally a book flinger, but had I been reading this one in print, there were several points in the book that would have found me hurling the book across the room. I was tempted to abandon this several times, but my stubbornness kept me listening to the end.

I love Stephanie Barron's series of Jane Austen mysteries based on the idea that Austen's letters to her sister weren't destroyed but hidden. The premise of this book sounded similar, but its execution is very different. Barron sets her Jane Austen mysteries in locations where Austen was known to have been at the time, and her Jane seems to be consistent with Jane Austen's personality as revealed in her writings and by her biographers. I can't say the same about Laura Joh Rowland's Charlotte Brontë. Her Charlotte is impulsive, lacks willpower, and is a poor judge of character. Most of the time I didn't like her very much.

I might have liked this one a bit more if I had read it rather than listened to it. I think the reader went too far with the melodrama. It would have been fine in its place, when the characters are faced with immediate danger. The constant tension in the reader's voice was just tiresome.

There is a second book in this series, but I won't be reading it. One is more than enough for me. ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | Nov 20, 2011 |
I always suspected that there was more adventure in the life of the Bronte sisters than has been revealed ... Rowland's novel satisfies the vicarious desire to give Charlotte some really rousing adventures! ( )
  libmaven | Oct 26, 2010 |
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Upon learning that she has been falsely accused of plagiarism, the normally mild-mannered Charlotte Brontë sets off for London to clear her name. But when she unintentionally witnesses a murder, Charlotte finds herself embroiled in a dangerous chain of events that forces her to confront demons from her past.--From publisher description.… (more)

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