Thursday, March 3, 2011

Villette Readalong Week 4

I haven't touched this book in more than two weeks, since before my last posting -- I was ahead and then I had so much else to read for various online events and my library's book group, I have not given this book a second thought since then. Honestly, I don't think that's such a good thing, since I didn't even miss it.  Also, I made the mistake of starting the audio version of Jane Eyre in the car -- I love rereads when I'm driving around town or on my iPod when I walk the dog, since I don't feel like I have to rush through them to finish the story, since I already know what happens.  I can slow down and just enjoy it, like an old friend.

And although this isn't the best narrated audiobook (I find the reader to be somewhat stilted and robotic at times, especially when she's reading words more than three syllables) Villette really does pale in comparison to Jane Eyre!  I know I shouldn't compare them, but I couldn't help it.  I really had no right to start a different Bronte work at all, but I was so bored in the car and the new film version comes out soon, and I hadn't read it in forever.  But now all I can do when I start to read Villette is think about how Jane Eyre is so much more interesting!

Anyhow -- Lucy has been rescued from her medical crisis by the dashing Dr. John, who, lo and behold, is Graham, her godmother's son!  Ta-da!!! Was anyone really surprised?  I actually was, since how is it she didn't recognize him?  Why wasn't this mentioned at all?  I'm starting to not trust Lucy, honestly.  It did occur to me that she'd fall in love with Dr. John and somehow Graham would be a different character and show up later, and there would be some kind of love triangle.  Now I'm just thinking that the third person in the love triangle will be the wretched Ginevra, whom I still want to smack.   And Lucy Snowe is getting tiresome.  I still have more than 300 pages of this book and it doesn't look promising.  However, I am much too stubborn to give up on it now.

This probably isn't much of a review, but the last section made hardly any impression on me, so I guess I need to give it another shot and write about it while it's still fresh.  So, back to the books! 


  1. Far more stubborn than me if you keep reading. :D This is when I gave up!

  2. Hopefully you'll enjoy the next section more. I read ahead and the plot starts getting more interesting. Her breakdown did not feel very exciting to me either... I actually enjoy Lucy more when she's a bit happier.

  3. Say it isn't so! I've got this one queued up for my "spring break" stack next week. I wanted to read it while Jane Eyre was fresh in my mind to compare the stories...maybe I should wait until my mind is more muddled? ;) I hope it picks up for you.

  4. Amanda -- If I can read 36 cantos of The Inferno in a week, I think I can read another 50 pages of Villette. We'll see.

    Wallace -- thanks, that's encouraging. I haven't given up yet.

    Susan -- I can't help it, so far I really prefer Jane Eyre. But I still have half the book to go, and you never know. You might like it more than me. I don't know if reading one and listening to other is such a good idea. If my library had an audio of Villette I'd be listening to that instead.

  5. I think Jane Eyre is more plot oriented, while Villette seems to explore the character of Lucy Snowe in great detail. Slowly, slowly her thoughts, wounds and hopes are revealed...I know what you mean about not trusting her because she hides so much. I also wondered how it was that she didn't know Dr. John. Still, I have a soft spot in my heart for Lucy. Overall.

  6. I'm hoping the next sectiong gets better, too! This book is starting to bore me, because I can't seem to engage with the character of Lucy who I find to be terribly untrustworthy. And like you I want to give up, but refuse to. Oh well, it can't get much worse, right :)

  7. Bellezza -- I agree, there's much more plot to Jane Eyre. However, even besides the great plot, I find the characters so much more engaging. I'm only about 1/3 of the way through and basically Jane has just recently arrived at Thornfield and it's still more interesting than Villette! She's pretty much just had her terrible childhood and her time at Lowood School, and I still like it better than the first half of Villette. Hope Villette gets better soon.

    Nadia -- I completely missed the bit where Lucy reveals that she recognized Graham all along. I don't trust her either.

  8. I'll admit it too-- at least so far, I like Jane Eyre better. I'm hoping for big things in the second half, though. The back cover of my book promises that there will be (I'm paraphrasing) mysterious instances involving jealousy. Once they start, I think the plot will take off.

  9. I agree with you about the fun of a familiar audiobook while driving around town and about Jane
    Eyre vs Villette. I was glad I'd finished reading Villette but I'm not going to reread it.


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