Friday, December 27, 2013

Classics Club Review: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte



The phrase “write what you know” really fits with this novel. Anne Bronte left home at 19 for a few years before she became a writer. Her experiences  add a ring of truth to Agnes’s story, but I also felt it created a bit of a judgmental main character.
Agnes is very much a heroine reminiscent of Jane Eyre or even the Bennett sisters. Her family is large on love and but short on funds. They are comfortable, but thinking about the future Agnes decides to become a governess. Her first experience is horrible. She has children who have no respect for their parents and thus fail to take heed of her as well. Agnes hides her despair and focuses on doing the best job she can up until she is let go from her position.

The next family  Agnes finds is a lot better. The children are older and to a large extent obey her. Agnes has grown from her first work experiences  yet at this job  we get to see more of the inner workings of our protagonist mind ,and I found her to be very judgmental. Each of her wards has singular faults that Agnes can’t help focusing on repeatedly. It was hard for me to really like or understand Agnes because of her prickly narratives.
I did however like the characters perseverance and found myself rooting for her as she develops a romantic attachment.
A mixed bag for me overall but the story is barely 300 pages so it is a quick read.

1 comment:

Pamela D said...

This book is one that I keep thinking that I should read, but I think it is on going to stay on the TBR list for a little bit longer.