Here are a few mini book reviews of novels I’ve read over the last two months . . . Enjoy!
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – still my favourite novel. Brilliant dialogue, passionate emotion + moral fortitude = perfection.
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens – the story of a young boy becoming a man. Full of exaggerated characters, I found David Copperfield a little slow in places, but there were parts of the story that resonated deeply. For instance, near the end of the story David describes his first love as, “The first mistaken impulse of an undisciplined heart” – and I can’t get that line out of my head. When was the last time the hero of a novel was admired for discipline and prudence? Our culture is all about ‘following your heart’ no matter where it leads . . .
Adam Bede by George Eliot – the story of a young man maturing – learning forgiveness, falling in love, experiencing sorrow. Eliot is so insightful about the way people act and think, plus her writing is really beautiful. I found myself frequently underlining thoughtful observations like this: “There are few prophets in the world; few sublimely beautiful women; few heroes. I can’t afford to give all my love and reverence to such rarities: I want a great deal of those feelings for my everyday fellow-men, especially for those few in the foreground of the great multitude, whose faces I know, whose hands I touch, for whom I have to make way with kindly courtesy.” Quite simply one of the best books I’ve ever read.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler – this novel rests on a startling reveal about 70 pages in, and I certainly did not see it coming. So – points for surprise. But I found the jumpy narrative irritating, all the characters unsympathetic, and the persistent psychological trauma unconvincing.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer – a dystopian retelling of the Cinderella fairytale – except not really, as many of the plot points do not align. This YA novel is pretty engaging, but far too fluffy and unrealistic to be satisfying (Prince, why are falling in love with this cyborg for no discernible reason? And why are you telling her state secrets on your second or third meeting?).
Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery – another lovely instalment in the Anne of Green Gables series.
The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde – quite a fascinating story of a young man’s obsession with beauty and the growing corruption of his soul. The asides on art and philosophy were way over my head, as were many of the British witticisms, but I enjoyed the story nonetheless.
I’m linking up with Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy today; head on over for more brief book reviews!