Thursday, February 18, 2016
Agnes Grey, written by Anne, the most overlooked Bronte sister, tells the story of a young woman who decides to become a governess after her father speculates and loses all their money. She works first for a horrible family with horrible children, then for a family with teenage daughters more in need of a companion than a governess. And then she falls in love, because of course she does.
In a lot of ways, this book feels a hell of a lot like Jane Eyre Light. Agnes isn't as passionate or compelling a character as Jane is, and there are - thankfully - far fewer mentally ill wives hidden in the attic. But Agnes is still quiet and loyal to those she loves, exactly like Jane.
It's quite a short book, and at times the story falls flat simply because it IS so short. Certain scenes could easily have been expanded upon to truly bring life to the characters. The writing, while it lacks Charlotte's turn of phrase and Emily's dark passion, is compelling in its own way. And despite being Jane Eyre Light, I found myself invested in Agnes' story and wanted her to get a happy ending.
So despite the inevitable comparisons to its more well known cousin, Agnes Grey is definitely worth the read, if only to the experience of reading all three Bronte sisters.
Have you read it? What did you think??