Bronte Fever Anyone?

A delightful parcel had popped through the gates (ok the letter box) of Savidge Towers when I got indoors last night, and you know I can’t hold back so swiftly I opened it and was delighted to see that it was a book that there is a definate buzz about at the moment.

Taste of Sorrow‘The Taste of Sorrow’ by Jude Morgan is a fictional account of the lives of the Bronte’s in particular the lives of the three now world famous sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne. Now I have been excited about this since seeing a few reviews popping up on blogs. The blurb will probably sell it better than I ever could so…
From an obscure country parsonage came the most extraordinary family of the nineteenth century. The Bronte sisters created a world in which we still live – the intense, passionate world of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights; and the phenomenon of this strange explosion of genius remains as baffling now as it was to their Victorian contemporaries. In this panoramic novel we see with new insight the members of a uniquely close-knit family whose tight bonds are the instruments of both triumph and tragedy. Emily, the solitary who turns from the world to the greater temptations of the imagination: Anne, gentle and loyal, under whose quietude lies the harshest perception of the stifling life forced upon her: Branwell, the mercurial and self-destructive brother, meant to be king, unable to be a prince: and the brilliant, uncompromising, tormented Charlotte, longing for both love and independence, who establishes the family’s name and learns its price.” 
Now is it me or does this sound a bit like every book-a-holics dream? The tale of one of the most literary families in the world who had difficulties living in the world outside their own fiction? So where is the catch? Well in terms of the book there isnt one, and I am hearing the murmurs of ‘Man Booker Nominee’ though of course none of us will know if this is indeed true for quite some time. However for me myself there is a bit of a worry… Will it matter if I haven’t read anything by the Bronte’s? I know, I know its a crime, actually what I am about to say may prove even more criminal as I have indeed read one of the Bronte books (and did so after having stayed for a lovely weekend in Howarth). I read ‘Wuthering Heights’ last year… and I didn’t enjoy it at all, in fact I may have mumbled ‘melodramatic and dislikable’ to close friends. So my ponderment is this…

Should I hold off and read more by the Bronte sisters, even after Emily put me off somewhat, or could this be the book that sends me into a Bronte Fever reading every Bronte book that falls in my book-a-holic path and therefore be one that I should devour instantly? What do you reckon? If I am to read any further Bronte novels, before or after this, where should I start, what are your Bronte thoughts? Also have any of you read Jude Morgan, I have had ‘Indiscretion’ on my TBR for a good while (possibly over a year I wouldnt like to say)? Do let me know, as ever your thoughts and recommendations are much needed.


Filed under Book Thoughts

15 responses to “Bronte Fever Anyone?

  1. Jo

    I love Wuthering heights when I read it independently but having studied it 3 times, it’s kind of lost it’s appeal a bit. Jane Eyre is better but I don’t think that this book sounds like you need to like their fiction to enjoy it. It sounds more like it’s about how their life affected their fiction and vice versa. As you say that is any book lover’s dream and I think they are such an interesting family anyway.

    • I am intrigued by them as a family, and have actually read the Branwell by Douglas A Martin which was really really interesting (I have just searched for it and cant find it anywhere) and so am hoping this will be, though Branwell wasnt fiction.

  2. I haven’t heard of ‘The Taste of Sorrow’ before, and I have to admit that my Bronte reading matches your exactly! I didn’t like ‘Wuthering Heights’ and have been put off reading the other books as I have seen film versions, so already know the stories.

    I guess other people will be able to let you know where to start with the other Bronte books, but if you already know the plots via TV adaptations I’d read ‘The Taste of Sorrow’ straight away.

    • I do really want to try Jane Eyre and havent watched the BBC version of that yet (even though I own it) so I might have a crack at that as the next read, though if its the best I might be disappointed even more by the others, oh its a conundrum.

  3. Dot

    I didn’t really like Wuthering Heights which really disappointed me but I love Jane Eyre. I would read this straight away, it may make your reading of other Bronte novels more interesting in the future, looking forward to reading your review!

    • I think on your recommendation Dot I shall give this a go sharpish, I also need to read ‘Daphne’ finally as that has my favourite author in it and the Brontes which could be quite the mix.

  4. Harriet

    I think you should read it. It will probably make you want to read the novels, and you will understand them and like them better when you know more about the writers.

  5. Well I have read all of the Bronte sisters and I love Wuthering Heights and I think…..

    Judging from the discription you posted, I suspect no real knowledge of the Bronte sisters is needed. I say read it, enjoy it. If it leads you to read the actual Brontes great; if not, no harm done.

    • I think maybe the mood in which I read Wuthering Heights might have been all wrong as so many people do love it, maybe everything wasnt alligned quite right? Or it could just be that its not for me! I think this is going to be one of my very next reads.

  6. I think read this one now! I’m trying to find out how to get a copy here in Australia. I have read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I love, love, love JE – have read it a couple of times but I couldn’t stand WH – your description of it sounds very similar to my thoughts! I have also read an earlier book of Morgan’s quite a while ago now – I can’t remember the title but the subject matter involved Shelley and Byron and I remember loving it.

    • I think it should be out in Australia, and if its not it will be very soon. I picked up a copy of the Shelley Byron book at a charity shop, its called Passion. I didnt buy it so may have to run back!

  7. adevotedreader

    Oh Simon! I’m shocked and appalled, and would suggest you read Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall ASAP. Each Bronte sister writes very differently, so don’t be put off by Wuthering Heights.

  8. I think I might leave Jane Eyre till last so that I dont get what appears to posiibly be the ‘best’ Bronte book over and done with the first!

  9. Pingback: The Taste of Sorrow – Jude Morgan « Savidge Reads

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