11 books finished in 2015: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

11 books finished in 2015

I have a long queue of books finished, just waiting to be written about and posted. This book is my bottleneck right now. I was hoping to discuss it with Amy first, but she’s still waiting for a library copy, and meanwhile I’m filling my head with thoughts on OTHER books.

falling in love with
a mysterious lady
might be troublesome

Why am I reading this book? Someone said it’s better than Jane Eyre. Do I agree? Possibly. Their argument was that it had the same strong heroine and feminist themes as Jane Eyre, but without some of the more absurd pieces – like house fires, men dressing as gypsies, secret wives in the attic, hearing your love call to you in the middle of the night from miles away when you’re on the verge of making a TERRIBLE mistake and marrying someone else. But when I think about it, I love those absurd parts of Jane Eyre!

So maybe it’s not better than Jane Eyre, but this is GOOD. And it’s available for free on Project Gutenberg. There are some strange framing devices that make the narrative a bit clunky, but once you get to the center of that story sandwich, you’ll fly through the rest. My only complaint is that the heroine is too upright. (Or uptight?) I hate to disparage a character with strong morals, but she seems un-relatable in a lot of her responses to circumstances. Or maybe I’m just angry that her circumstances required her to CONSTANTLY be the bigger person, stand on the higher ground, be steady and continue to make good, hard choices. Like, she has NO reprieve! That would be exhausting!

Okay, I probably need to read this again, or at least need to hear some other perspectives. Have you read it? What were your thoughts?

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2 thoughts on “11 books finished in 2015: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

  1. Well I’ve finally finished it (as of a few weeks ago) and I felt totally the same. I felt for Helen and I guess I think her circumstances forced her eventually to just not take any crap from anyone. She is an interesting character, for sure — no sentimentality, all business. I guess her circumstances made her that way, and hopefully she was able to relax and cut herself a little slack as time went on. I mean, I would NEVER have told Gilbert we could never see each other again EVER. HELEN. GIRL. COME ON.

  2. Pingback: 23 books finished in 2015: Agnes Grey | Maggie Makes It Better

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