Friday, January 15, 2010

Book Review: The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James

Book Description:
"I have written about the joys of love. I have, in my secret heart, long dreamt of an intimate connection with a man; every Jane, I believe, deserves her Rochester."

Though poor, plain, and unconnected, Charlotte Bronte possesses a deeply passionate side which she reveals only in her writings—creating Jane Eyre and other novels that stand among literature's most beloved works. Living a secluded life in the wilds of Yorkshire with her sisters Emily and Anne, their drug-addicted brother, and an eccentric father who is going blind, Charlotte Bronte dreams of a real love story as fiery as the ones she creates.

But it is in the pages of her diary where Charlotte exposes her deepest feelings and desires—and the truth about her life, its triumphs and shattering disappointments, her family, the inspiration behind her work, her scandalous secret passion for the man she can never have . . . and her intense, dramatic relationship with the man she comes to love, the enigmatic Arthur Bell Nicholls.

"Who is this man who has dared to ask for my hand? Why is my father so dead set against him? Why are half the residents of Haworth determined to lynch him—or shoot him?"

From Syrie James, the acclaimed, bestselling author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, comes a powerfully compelling, intensely researched literary feat that blends historical fact and fiction to explore the passionate heart and unquiet soul of Charlotte Bronte. It is Charlotte's story, just as she might have written it herself.

My thoughts:
I've had first listed The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James on my What's On Your Nightstand-October post and relisted it on my December post. After another check out from the library and a couple of renewals later it is finished. Was it because it took that long to get into it? No!! It is that very frustrating mantra that haunts me, "Too many books, not enough time!"

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte was an incredible and mesmerizing story. I was quickly drawn into Charlotte's world and her hardships she faced along with her triumphs and ultimately finding true love. There are some very intense and sad moments in this book, yet it is a beautiful story. I think one reason I enjoy the story of Jane Eyre is how passionate Jane is, and I find that Syrie James does a wonderful job of showing the passion of Charlotte Bronte.


  1. Thanks, Beth, for the great review of my novel! I'd love to hear your thoughts about "The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen"-- another book of my heart!
    All best,
    Syrie James

  2. This one is on my wish list. Looks like I'm going to enjoy it :)

  3. I read and enjoyed this one last summer. My book club is reading Jane Eyre this month in preparation for reading this one a couple months from now. Hope they like ti as much as you (and I) did.

  4. I love the sound of this one!



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