Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Villette" Readalong

Wallace of Unputdownables is hosting a readalong of Charlotte Bronte's Villette.  Which started last week but I had completely forgotten about until I started reading those first posts.  So I'm starting late.  I'd hoped to be caught up this week but no such luck. Villette was Charlotte's last novel, published in 1853.  Many people consider it to be a greater work than Bronte's Jane Eyre.

This week I read the first five chapters in which we're introduced to our narrator, Lucy Snowe.  Much of what we learn about Lucy, we learn from hints of her past.  I'm wondering if Bronte will just leave us to wonder what might have happened or if we will learn more as the story progresses.  We first meet Lucy when she is 14 and spending some months with her godmother.  In the next chapter we've skipped forward eight years.  Bronte leads us to understand that some tough things have happened to Lucy, but again, we don't learn much as to what they might be.

I think I'm going to like Lucy very much--she's one very brave girl.  After spending some years working for an invalid (Miss Marchmont, who passes away), Lucy makes the decision to head to London without any references or family to stay with.  From there she decides, almost immediately, that she wants to go to France to find work there.  At then end of Chapter Five, the ship is just taking leave of the English coast and Lucy is becoming acquainted with her fellow passengers.

I'm a cowardly, nervous Nelly--I can't imagine making such big changes in my life, although Lucy feels that she hasn't much choice.  Perhaps in her shoes, I might be a little more courageous.  But I doubt it!

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