The Bronte Project by Jennifer Vandever

I am starting to get annoyed with the recommendations slapped on book covers. For example, Karen Quinn called The Bronte Project “a brilliant first novel of love. ” On the back  there’s more praise: “So original, so enchanting, so poignantly true that it defies you to put it down.” But wait- that’s also by Quinn. Was there only one author willing to give this book their seal of approval? After reading The Bronte Project, I’m not surprised.

The blurb makes this sound like a great read, especially for someone as enamored of Brontes as I am.

Shy young scholar Sara Frost’s unsuccessful search for the lost love letters of Charlotte Bronte hasn’t won her any favours at her university, particularly now the glamorous new Head of Princess Diana Studies has introduced her media-savvy exploits to the staid halls of academia. But it’s not until Sara’s fiance suddenly leaves her that she begins to question her life’s vocation.

I thought the book sounded like it had promise…but not so much. By about half way through I was totally exasperated with the expository nature of the writing, the mini-lessons on the Brontes, the ridiculous decisions Sara made and the even more outlandish denouement. Then I realized that Vandever is a Film School graduate. Like Sara, maybe she hoped her work would somehow make the perfect fodder for a film.

Let’s face it – I don’t have anything intelligent to say about this book…except perhaps – don’t waste your time reading it. Even if, like me, you love Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

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