After I finished Jane Eyre, I was told that I simply had to read Villette. (Why do I put off reading that which Rachel tells me I need to read?) According to the introduction in the book, it is Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece, so after reading that and being told that I must read the book, I was looking forward to the book a lot.
It’s the story of Lucy Snowe. She’s an Englishwoman who has gone through some sort of family tragedy that leaves her needing to work to make a living. Lucy travels to a small town, Villette, in France, and ends up teaching at an all-girls boarding school.
Even though it is a completely charming and dear story, I found two things to be frustrating with this book. The first is that my French is not good. So what if I studied French for 6 years in school – do I actually remember any of it? No. I found that flipping to the back of the book every couple of minutes for a translation interrupted the flow of the story, and it took me a long time to really get into what was going on.
The other was the fact that there is a character named Dr. John. And every time Dr. John graced the pages, I would end up spending the next couple of hours singing about Cod Liver Oil – of which I am sure no one around me appreciated muchly. (I shake my fist at you, Great Big Sea. You and your positively wonderful music.)
But yes, I did like the book. Not enough that I’ll want to re-read it, and even though this is Bronte’s masterpiece, I still prefer Jane Eyre.