The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

owc-tenant-of-wildfell-hall1“The mysterious new tenant of Wildfell Hall has a dark secret. But as the captivated Gilbert Markham will discover, it is not the story circulating among local gossips. Living under an assumed name, ‘Helen Graham’ is the estranged wife of a dissolute rake, desperate to protect her son from his destructive influence. Her diary entries reveal the shocking world of debauchery and cruelty from which she has fled. Combining a sensational story of a man’s physical and moral decline through alcohol, a study of marital breakdown, a disquisition on the care and upbringing of children, and a hard-hitting critique of the position of women in Victorian society, this passionate tale of betrayal is set within a stern moral framework. Drawing on her first-had experiences with her brother Branwell, Bronte’s novel scandalized contemporary readers. It still retains its power to shock.”

This was my first Anne Bronte novel and I really enjoyed reading it. It did remind me a lot of Charlotte’s writing but at the same time Anne has her own style of writing. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of this novel. We now from the synopsis that Helen had run away from her husband but we don’t know exactly what happened to cause her to do that. I didn’t read the synopsis before I started this book since it wasn’t really up to me if I wanted to read it or not. I’m taking an English course about the Bronte sisters so the only works we read are by the Bronte’s. I”m glad that I was able to take this course because I get to read books that are on my “to be read someday’ book list! But when I first started reading this novel and I read the story about Helen that had been rumored I thought that there might be some possibility of truth in it. After all, we didn’t know exactly what had happened in her life before she moved. Once we read her diary a majority of our questions get answered. We get to see just how much Helen had changed and what exactly happened in her life to cause those changes. She’s portrayed as a female who has a voice and stands up for she believes and what is right, something that wouldn’t have been accepted in the Victorian period at that time. This was a great novel with an enticing story line that captures a readers full attention. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading novels written in the 19th century or is looking for a good book!

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