BOOK REVIEW: The Tenant of Windfell Hall by Anne Brontë
I didn't even know there were 3 Brontë sisters until my friend and neighbor showed me her copy of The Tenant of Windfell Hall (shame on me). This is a story about a woman, Helen, and her son, Arthur, who move near and draw the attention of Gilbert Markham. The story is a collection of letters by Gilbert to a friend. Helen is cold toward Gilbert and he is repulsed by her until he gets to know her and realizes she is full of more depth than the women around him and he grows to love her passionately even while his advances are directly repulsed.
When an ugly rumor circulates about her she shows him her journal. It turns out she is hiding from her abusive and alcoholic husband--whom you grow to hate. His offenses were even greater since Helen was such a devout Christian. Emotions were on steroids int his book and you felt the ride. I was eager to finish and find out if they would be able to be together, even during the middle that dragged out.
I like books from this period b/c the culture of the time intrigues me. I don't think you could appreciate them otherwise. The fact that Anne wrote about a woman leaving her husband to fend for herself in the early 19th century was huge! She does a fabulous job touching on issues such as divorce, abuse, alcoholism, adultery and feminism. I loved it, even though Helen was a bit too flat and even keel, almost enough to annoy, though you've got to admire her strength and courage to stick to her guns. It's definitely G-rated 471-page fun and emotional ride. 4 stars.