When Lucy Snowe leaves England to look for a new life on the Continent she has no idea what lies in store for her.
This quiet, lonely girl must learn quickly when she finds herself teaching in a foreign school, with no friends or family to rely on.
However it's not long until figures from Lucy's past appear and she becomes involved in dilemmas which inspire new and passionate feelings in her.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 672 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 04/06/2009
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099529927
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Review by roblong
Lucy Snowe, adrift in her life in England, travels abroad to French-speaking Villette, and becomes a teacher.On wiki it says that in Villette (apparently modelled on Brussels), Lucy is "drawn into adventure and romance." This is an exaggeration. For pretty much all of its 650 pages, basically nothing happens in this book. Lucy has some fairly minor ups and downs in her life, and is associated with people who are in much the same boat. It is a report on a mundane life among mundane lives. And yet it's excellent. It's incredibly well observed psychologically, and really creeps up on you. In a largely eventless, plotless book, with an entirely passive narrator, the little ups and downs become as all consuming for the reader as they do for the character. I'm not quite sure how Bronte pulls it off, but it's very good indeed. Loved the ending, too.One note - some of the dialogue is in French, so if (like me), you don't speak it, get an edition (unlike me) that translates it.