Category: 1000 Novels Series

1000 Novels Series: Review Of Villette By Charlotte Brontë

Villette Review On Novels And Nonfiction

I had been wanting to read Villette as part of my determination to read all the Brontë sister’s novels, and I had pretty high expectations for it after finally reading Charlotte Brontë’s preceding novel Jane Eyre in its entirety last year.

I was lucky enough to be chosen as the winner of one of Read Diverse Book‘s linkups during Latinx Heritage Month and I chose Villette as my not very apropos prize (not exactly a diverse book, though at least it does challenge gender norms of the time). I selected the gorgeous Penguin Clothbound Classics version which comes in a pale blue with white leaves printed on it.

I have to say I much preferred Jane Eyre to Villette, and it makes me wonder what I’ll think of Shirley – the remaining Charlotte Brontë novel I still have to read. Charlotte Brontë also wrote a debut novel called The Professor, but it doesn’t count as a separate work because she eventually rewrote it and adapted it into Villette. Ultimately, I’m glad I read Villette and can share my impressions with you, but I wouldn’t recommend investing time in reading it.

1000 Novels Series – The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall Review

Review Of The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte On Novels And Nonfiction

I had never read a book by Anne Brontë before and considering how much the Brontë sisters novels I have read (Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë) I definitely thought I should read one by Anne as well. I had been looking to buy my first book in the beautiful clothbound Penguin Hardcover Classics versions, and I decided to pick The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall as that title.

Before reading the novel, I was aware that The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall is viewed as one of the first feminist novels and that back when it was published, it was considered extremely scandalous for its times. I’m a staunch feminist myself and I was intrigued by the idea that the novel had a female protagonist who made life choices that would have been seen as unseemly to read about in her era. Ultimately, I was not disappointed by the novel, though I didn’t like it as much as the other two I’ve read by Emily and Charlotte Brontë.

Read my review of The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall below and don’t forget to let me know what you thought of it if you’ve read it yourself.

1000 Novels Series: Review Of The Woman In White By Wilkie Collins

The Woman In White Featured Image

I picked up an edition of The Woman In White in Italian while I was home visiting my family in Milan earlier this year. It may be a weird choice to read it in my native language since it’s a British novel, but I’m trying to make sure I read consistently in Italian to keep up my proficiency now that I’ve been living abroad for over a decade.

I read it during lunchtime throughout the Spring and I found it to be the perfect novel to consume in small chunks, which makes sense because it was originally published in serialized chapters in Charles Dickens’ magazine All The Year Round in the U.K. and Harper’s Weekly in the U.S. Read my review below.

The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis Book Review – 1000 Novels Series

100-novelsseries

The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis

by Giorgio Bassani

The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis Book Review

Published:

Amazon Paperback
Amazon Hardcover

Plot Summary:

In this coming of age novel set against the increasing discrimination suffered by Jewish people in Italy leading up to World War II, an unnamed narrator describes his memories growing up in Ferrara as a young Jewish man. He is linked to the Finzi-Contini family and their children Alberto and Micol by their shared Jewish heritage, seeing them at the synagogue and building a relationship with them through the years by visiting the Finzi-Contini mansion gardens for tennis matches and long walks with Micol. As his emotional attachment to Micol grows, the narrator realizes that the difference in their upbringing is a much deeper divide than he anticipated.

1000 Novels Series: Bleak House and Rebecca

Though I’ve read most of the usual suspects as far as literary classics are concerned, I wanted to broaden my reading to less known classic titles, including more modern novels as well.

I searched online for a good comprehensive book list to work from and found The Guardian’s list of 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read.

Two by two, I’ll review as many books as I can from this list, while I get through them. I’ve unbelievably only read 64 so far though there were several on the list that I *thought* I read a long time ago but wasn’t sure.

Here are the first two reviews – I absolutely loved both novels.

51OSlFe0I+L Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Available for free on Amazon Kindle!

I confess that the only novel I’d read by Charles Dickens before this one was A Tale Of Two Cities. Bleak House felt very different both in topic and in tone. My main reason for tackling Bleak House was that I really wanted to see the TV series (available on Amazon Prime), but not without first reading the original.

The story is based on the intertwining destinies of three orphans – Esther Summerson, Ada Clare and Richard Carstone – and their guardian John Jarndyce. The legal case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce serves as backdrop and heavily weighs on their futures, involving Ada and Richard directly as potential heirs. The mystery of Esther’s birth and the scandal that follows its revelation add considerable tension, while she’s also kept busy dealing with multiple suitors for her hand.

The result is a suspenseful saga of perdition for some and revelation for others – which, with its ‘bleak’ English weather would make a great rainy day read. Any fans of George Eliot or Thomas Hardy will find themselves right at home.

 

41ufEpPh-WL._SY346_Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Amazon Kindle       Amazon Paperback

Rebecca tells the story of a young and naive 20-something woman who falls in love with and marries affluent widower Maxim De Wintour. What starts as an oddly matched love story builds into a thrilling mystery as the figure of Maxim’s former accidentally-drowned wife Rebecca hovers over the newlyweds’ relationship. As our heroine tries to settle into a routine in Maxim’s Cornwall estate of Manderley, the reader learns more about each of our characters – both dead and alive – and they morph like figures in a fun-house, until the final resolution of the mystery.

I didn’t research what to expect from Rebecca before diving into it, and I was definitely surprised at how dark the book ended up being in parts. It’s also full of lusciously beautiful descriptions of the gardens and ocean coves at Manderley though, which act as counterpoint to the tenseness of the atmosphere between the characters and the spookiness of the story. It made me want to read more from the author soon. Her other popular novels include My Cousin Rachel and Jamaica Inn.

 

The next two books on the list I’m planning on tackling are Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood if you’d like to read along with me.

 

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