by Charlotte Brontë
“He did not yet known how many commenced lefe-romances are doomed never to get beyond the first, or at most the second chapter.”
Genre: social novel
Written and published after Jane Eyre, Shirley has been a good reading.
I am fondly in love with Jane Eyre, and when I started this book I was a bit anxious because I didn’t know if I would have liked it as her other novel.
Luckily I liked my reading, it took a while, but I succeeded though I must admit it is less captivating and charming than Jane Eyre.
The style is for sure the same, characters and landscapes are perfectly described, as if you could see them in front of you.
A relevant different aspect of this novel is the presence of two strong and important female characters while Jane Eyre was the only and absolute protagonist of her own story.
The setting is less gloomy than Thornfield’s one, and I think that the first descriptions of it are quite similar to Charles Dickens’ ones.
In my opinion, Shirley and Caroline are less interesting than Jane, Caroline more than all.
I actually didn’t like her too much, maybe because the character of Shirley is stronger in feelings and determined in spirit.
As for Jane Eyre, there are secrets to reveal but in this novel they won’t wait the end of the story.
It is always a pleasure reading Brontës’ novels, particularly Charlotte’s because they easily put you into the story, you immediately feel part of it though you may not like its characters or the plot itself.
I suggest to start reading Jane Eyre and then Shirley, because the first one will better introduce to you the style of the author and her singular way of telling stories.
I red it in summer but I think it would be better in autumn, while looking outside the window or seated in a park pleased by the view of falling leaves.
I do hope you will read it.