Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Villette" Read-A-Long: Chapters 1-5

While perusing through various book blogs today, I came across the Villette read-a-long, hosted by Unputdownables.  I was instantly intrigued because in a recently read book by Maureen Corrigan, Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading, she wrote about the haunting nature of Charlotte Bronte's story.

I didn't think much of it, but then as the evening wore on, I kept thinking about how nice it would be to read this book along with others.  So thanks to the ability to download the book onto my Nook at 9:30pm, here I am.

I know absolutely nothing about the story and honestly after reading quick 5 chapters, I still do not know very much.  I am curious about Lucy Snowe.  Who is she?  Why is she on her own?  Why, when we are first getting to know her, as an established guest at Mrs. Bretton's home does she take a back seat to a tiny, precocious and utterly strange six-year old girl?  She appears to be like a fly on the wall.  An observer, not a partaker.

Several years pass and we find her desperate for money and therefore needing to work.  Which she does, caring for an invalid woman, Miss Marchmont,who unfortunately dies before making good on her promise to bestow some financial gift to poor Lucy.  I found the following quote, which was also quoted in Corrigan's book to be more than just sad - it was stifling and claustrophobic.
"Her service was my duty - her pain, my suffering - her relief, my hope - her anger, my punishment - her regard, my reward.  I forgot that there were fields, woods, rivers, seas, an ever-changing sky outside the steam-dimmed lattice of this sick chamber."
In her own words, Lucy would have "crawled on with her for twenty years..."  Lucky (or maybe unlucky, depending on what happens) for her, upon the death of her ward/employer, she has to move on.

Bronte has pulled me in.  I want to know what happens to this poor girl.

To see all the posts, click on "Villette Read-a-Long" in the right hand bar.


  1. The passage you mentioned was one of the most haunting for me and one of the most illustrative of the Gothic style for the time period Charlotte was writing in. I'm enjoying the novel so far as well.

  2. I'm so glad you found the read-a-long and joined in. Isn't such a compliment to Bronte that after only five chapters we are all so interested in Lucy's fate?