Romancing Miss Bronte: Book summary and reviews of Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael

Romancing Miss Bronte

A Novel

by Juliet Gael

Romancing Miss Bronte

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About this book

Book Summary

In this astonishing novel, a brilliant mélange of fact and fiction, Juliet Gael skillfully and stylishly captures the passions, hopes, dreams, and sorrows of literature's most famous sisters - and imagines how love dramatically and most unexpectedly found Charlotte Brontë.

During the two years that she studied in Brussels, Brontë had a taste of life's splendors - travel, literature, and art.

Now, back home in the Yorkshire moors, duty-bound to a blind father and an alcoholic brother, an ambitious Charlotte refuses to sink into hopelessness. With her sisters, Emily and Anne, Charlotte conceives a plan to earn money and pursue a dream: The Brontës will publish. In childhood the Brontë children created fantastical imaginary worlds; now the sisters craft novels quite unlike anything written before. Transforming her loneliness and personal sorrow into a triumph of literary art, Charlotte pens her 1847 masterpiece, Jane Eyre.

Charlotte's novel becomes an overwhelming literary success, catapulting the shy and awkward young woman into the spotlight of London's fashionable literary scene—and into the arms of her new publisher, George Smith, an irresistibly handsome young man whose interest in his fiercely intelligent and spirited new author seems to go beyond professional duty. But just as life begins to hold new promise, unspeakable tragedy descends on the Brontë household, throwing London and George into the background and leaving Charlotte to fear that the only romance she will ever find is at the tip of her pen.
 
But another man waits in the Brontës' Haworth parsonage - the quiet but determined curate Arthur Nicholls. After secretly pining for Charlotte since he first came to work for her father, Arthur suddenly reveals his heart to her.

Romancing Miss Brontë is a fascinating portrayal of an extraordinary woman whose life and work articulated our deepest human longing: to love and be loved in return.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A moving view of a literary giant and the emotion that fueled her work." - Booklist

"Brontë devotees and those interested in British literary life will enjoy this novel, which also has book club potential." - Library Journal

"There are a number of good moments, though, and Brontë fans will surely enjoy this look at the author’s life, even if it doesn’t bleed like the classics." - Publishers Weekly

"A must-read for Bronte aficionados and anyone interested in the lives and concerns of Victorian women." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Reader Reviews

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Gigi K. (Lufkin,, TX.)

A Good Bedfellow
A delightful read. Nothing you have to figure out.
Nothing to keep you awake half the night. It reminds me of a Jan Karon novel in that is just one of those novels that are well written and one you can read at bedtime.

Lea Ann M. (Seattle, WA)

Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael
I have read several books by the Bronte sisters and at least one biography, so I was anticipating reading Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael. From the first sentence of the first chapter, I knew I would not be disappointed. Ms. Gael knows how to use words to their greatest effect, how to develop her characters and how to move along the story of the Bronte sisters, their family and friends. Even though I knew beforehand many important aspects of the Bronte story, I never lost interest in this most recent book based upon their lives. In fact, there were some surprises in store for the reader and the anticipation of more to come kept me reading at a fast pace as I couldn't wait to get to the next page. This book will appeal to most who have curled up for many hours with one or more of the Bronte sisters' book as well as to those to whom they are new authors. You will be glad that you added this one to your library.

Sherrill B. (Columbia City, In.)

good choice for book club selection
The characters and their lives are so real I felt I was there with them and shared their tribulations. Also shared Charlotte's joy getting her books published. Even though they lived a hard life this book was very well written. I would recommend it for book club discussions

Dianne S. (Shelton, CT) www.booksandchat.net

Captivating
Romancing Miss Bronte - Juliet Gael

Romancing Miss Bronte is a fascinating factual and fictional look into Charlotte, Anne, Emily and Branwell Bronte’s lives. The bulk of this novel deals with Charlotte; her life her loves and her tragedies. As children in Haworth England, they are remarkably intelligent and imaginative, and I think that this fact is the only thing that could possibly keep them sane with all they have gone through and will keep them sane throughout their young adult lives. Branwell suffers from a love affair gone horribly wrong and turns to alcohol and drugs to get him through his days; Charlotte has lost her heart to a married man while she and her sister Emily were in Brussels - less is spoken of about Anne and Emily in this book and of course the book does focus on Charlotte’s life.

What could have been a depressing read if handled by any other author, wasn’t, for indeed their lives were bleak, and illness and death and hopelessness fills a lot of these pages. .
Insinuating itself among the tragedies, is a relentless hope that one day their words would reach others; their biggest dreams are to be published. And published they become albeit at their own expense. Of course later on we will find that Charlotte’s book “Jane Eyre” will become on of literature’s most enduring romances along with her sister Emily’s “Wuthering Heights”. And over the course of years Charlotte even finds someone who loves her, understands her and will put up with both her writing and her crotchety bigoted father.


I admit, that until I chose this book to review, I knew nothing about the Bronte’s and I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve never even read one of their books. But Ms Gael’s style of writing, the way she brought their gloomy lives into crystal clarity for me, has made this a very fascinating subject and one that I will certainly read more about. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to not only those who are scholars of the Bronte’s, or who love the classic tales that they wrote, but also to those who may find romance in tragedy, to those who want to learn what it was like to be a smart, imaginative woman during that time period. I started this book with dread because I am not normally interested in the heavier aspect of literature-but I am so happy that I chose this book. I was able to read outside my norm, become a bit more educated and even enjoyed myself. This book really hits so many high notes that it’s been days since I’ve finished “Romancing Miss Bronte” and I’m still thinking about this book.

Celia A. (Takoma Park, MD)

Getting to know Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre has been my favorite book since I was in fourth grade, so it was with pleasure that I read this fictionalized account of the life of Charlotte Bronte. I don't know enough about the details of Bronte's life to comment on the historical accuracy of Gael's depiction, but I do know that she breathed life in Bronte in ways that would never be possible with a biography. Charlotte is fully developed as a character and I came away with the feeling that I really knew her.

Judy B. (Marysville, OH)

Quietly good book
I liked this quiet well written book. But whether I had liked this book or not, I could not NOT have read it. Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are in the top few of my list of treasured books! The “Miss Bronte” of this title is Charlotte. The “Romancing” of the title is ironic, for though Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre--that great romance of all time--her passionate, romantic spirit suffered from the failure of romance in her most of her real life, according to this fictionalized story based on known facts. In her life, she was wooed by two extraordinary men, but only for their own selfish purposes, for the sheer egotism of one, and for material gain and fame gained by association with her of the other. She fell for the first with all her heart and soul and had high hopes of the second, but neither “gentlemen” had any intention of consummating a love affair with her. She was left broken-hearted and suffered the greater heartbreak of losing her beloved sisters and brother who died young one by one. As she grew older, she was wholeheartedly and passionately romanced by a very ordinary man who left her heart unmoved. Did she die of a broken heart at the end? Did she remain unloved? Were her passions doomed never to be consummated? This author poses some interesting answers taking very plausible small liberties with known facts.

...14 more reader reviews

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More Information

Juliet Gael was raised in the Midwest and obtained her M.A. in French literature before pursuing graduate film studies at USC and English literature at UCLA in Los Angeles, California. She has lived abroad for more than fifteen years, primarily in Paris, where she worked as a screenwriter. She now makes her home in Florence, Italy.

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