BOOK REVIEWS

The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

Book-The-Bronte-Plot2

Thomas Nelson Publishers

ISBN-13: 978-1401689759

November 3, 2015

A talented author pens novels to appeal to a book lover’s heart. With real talent and genuine passion to catch the attention of avid readers, Katherine Reay’s novels are inspired by classic literature and suffused with old-fashioned values to enrich and enhance the journey.

Two women undertake a journey, searching for a new freedom largely beyond their grasp, tantalizingly out of reach. Lucy is an authentic character, admired for her profound change of heart and mind. She has her life together and her work cut out for her– a job in an interior design shop, managing sales of books. When James enters the shop, Lucy knows deep down in her heart, without the shadow of a doubt, that she’s got it all until secrets from her past threaten to plunge her into a bewildering tailspin.

Matters finally come to a halt when Lucy finally realizes that something has to change. She knows in the depths of her own heart that she has to change. When in a sudden twist and turn of events, James’s reclusive grandmother Helen needs a consultant for a London antiques and literary excursion, she hires Lucy who reluctantly agrees. Lucy gets the courage to face her past, takes moral responsibility for her present and attempts to get her life back on fast track. But to her chagrine, Lucy soon discovers that Helen hides secrets of her very own. But nothing can change the fact that Helen understands Lucy better than anyone else.

As they travel across scenic England, Lucy is greatly strengthened by Helen’s abundant wisdom. However, Helen herself confronts ghosts from her own past. A decisive moment of realization comes to a swift head at Haworth, the Brontë sisters’ home. Lucy remembers the Brontë sisters’ heroines, who, with great strength, unusual tenacity and resolute wisdom, endured the harshest of conditions. As a result, Lucy delves into her own past, with all its numerous mistakes and regrets, to move forward. She knows with passionate certainty that she will prevail if only she can step into the life that waits patiently for her. It opens up her hurting heart to heal painful wounds and give Lucy a brand new understanding of who she really is. She finds herself and discovers how to love and be loved. She finally discovers what is really important in life and what brings her true joy.  Lucy ultimately grows up.

It is interesting to mention three important points. While Katherine Reay’s first novel used the epistolary format, her second was in first-person and The Brontë Plot uses the third-person format. Although certainly not traditional and not in the contemporary novel’s patterns, this is an added strength and not a weakness that significantly suits the story. Both the scholars and readers of classic literature will be enchanted with this beautiful and unique book.

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