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Becoming Jane Eyre: A Novel (Penguin…
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Becoming Jane Eyre: A Novel (Penguin Original) (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Sheila Kohler

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3351547,019 (3.43)18
Member:paulmorriss
Title:Becoming Jane Eyre: A Novel (Penguin Original)
Authors:Sheila Kohler
Info:Penguin Books (2009), Edition: 1, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
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Tags:goodreads

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Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler (2009)

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I thought this was wonderful. Well imagined and beautifully written. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
The year is 1846. Somewhere on the outskirts of the industrial town of Manchester, a young woman cares for her critically ill father. Seated in a darkened corner of her father's bedroom, she begins to write the novel which will ultimately become a true classic. As she writes, Charlotte Bronte will be transported by her memories back to the cold, damp parsonage on the bleak Yorkshire moors of Northern England where she has spent her entire life.

It is while living in her father's parsonage that Charlotte Bronte received many of her literary influences. Indeed, the Bronte family seems to have been dealt so much tragedy through the years, that it is almost as if they all lived under some sort of a disastrous curse. In turn, Charlotte and her siblings used such personal tragedies as inspiration to write their own literary works.

A mother and two of her children die; a sickened father - without fortune - and hardened by the deaths of his wife and two eldest children, is left to raise his four surviving children to adulthood. A much-favored son is ultimately destroyed by alcohol and his addiction to opiates; and three strong, intelligent young women - facing impoverishment and eventual spinsterhood - seemingly have nothing more tangible to save them from their fate: nothing, that is, except their remarkable literary talents.

So unfolds a beautifully imagined tale of the Bronte sisters and the writing of the gothic novel Jane Eyre. Sheila Kohler's extensive research and wonderful imagination recreates the Victorian era world of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte - vibrantly bringing to life the indelibly-entwined rivalries of these three loving sisters and struggling young writers. At the center of this poignantly imaginative story is Charlotte Bronte and the writing of her novel Jane Eyre; and the overlapping narratives of author and heroine - including Charlotte's romantic infatuation with a married man.

Delicately unraveling the powerful and inextricable connections between one of fiction's most enduring heroines and the remarkable woman who created her, Ms. Kohler's novel will definitely appeal to fans of historical fiction and, of course, the millions of readers who adore Jane Eyre.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Yes, I have read so much about the Brontes already, but in my opinion this book really brought everything that I learned into sharper focus for me. This was such a poignant novel; written from an entirely different perspective and I really came to understand how difficult it was for the Bronte sisters to follow their passion. I would definitely give this book an A+! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Aug 28, 2016 |
Fantastic. Enjoying it so much that I don't even want to recommend it to people, for fear they will find it not as engaging. Wondering how much my own knowledge and obsession of the family contributes to my enjoyment... ( )
  aliceoddcabinet | Jul 25, 2015 |
Somewhat dull, and some of the characterizations rubbed me the wrong way (like Patrick being a total jerk and borderline perving on Charlotte. Yikes!). The writing itself wasn't bad, though, and I quite liked the final page or so. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
  Moncoinlecture | Apr 4, 2013 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
To the love of my life, my husband, Bill
First words
He wakes to the scratching of a pencil against a page: a noise out of the darkness.
Quotations
The writing is her way out of this room, this cell of solitude, darkness, and despair. Her mind is free to roam where it will. She dares to take up her humiliations and heartaches and to give them a structure.
She feels that if she left her father now he might disappear, as though it is her dim sight that holds him hovering in half life, as though she has invented him and not he her.
She practices loneliness like a sport.
Now she feels her spirit shake its half-fettered wings free.
She remembers catching a glimpse of a face in the mirror and wondering who it was.
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A beautifully imagined tale of the Brontë sisters, "Becoming Jane Eyre" delicately unravels the connections between one of fiction's most indelible heroines and the remarkable woman who created her.

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