by Anne Bronte
This was the book chosen for me by the most recent Classics Club Spin. I was not especially looking forward to it, but was very pleasantly surprised. I found it a very enjoyable read, and was particularly impressed by the heartfelt and devastating descriptions of dealing with a loved one suffering a self-destructive addiction. Having read much about the Brontes over the years, it was clear that Anne was writing about the experiences her family had dealing with their brother Branwell’s alcoholism. It felt like a very modern story to me, with the oafish male friendship group, and the one deciding to grow up and behave like an adult, and his subsequent bullying by the rest of the group. Anne clearly had very good insight into social pressures on both men and women of her time, and was also very angry about it!
The book is written as a series of letters and diary entries, a construction I didn’t really like, but overall I really enjoyed this book and wondered why Anne is not as well known as her sisters. I read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights in my teens and at least twice more over the years, as well as Villette, but had never read anything by Anne until I picked this one up at a charity shop. It was a great pick.
There are plenty of excellent reviews of this book, which is why I don’t bother to do more than give a brief description of my impressions of it – look them up on the Classics Club page!