“One bright day in the last week of February, I was walking in the park, enjoying the threefold luxury of solitude, a book, and pleasant weather.”
By reading Agnes Grey I've sufficiently accomplished my goal of reading a book from each Bronte sister.
Despite many similarities in sisters' writing and the messages that they are portraying - the three of them are also very different.
The first sister I had the pleasure of reading was Emily, and it's easy to assume that she was the risk taker of the written word. She embraced the wildness of the moors and the madness of true love, she let her imagination run untamed and her emotions unchecked. All of those qualities created a painful, but also very beautiful masterpiece of Wuthering Heights.
Charlotte, while not shying away from the madness of love either, focused more on the resilience of human spirit and how ones principles get them through all trials. Jane Eyre was full of surprises as we watched her bravely walk through her hardships and onto the unexpected path of love, that in the end was a saving grace for both her, and her beloved.
Anne's writing is definitely the most polished of them all. Her sentences are carefully constructed and all of the words are picked with a goal in mind. Not once Agnes Grey went out of bonds, not once she fell into her temptations or got lost on the path she was taking, no matter how bleak and gloomy it was.
“It is foolish to wish for beauty. Sensible people never either desire it for themselves or care about it in others. If the mind be but well cultivated, and the heart well disposed, no one ever cares for the exterior.”
The hypocrisy level in this book is absolutely hilarious and Agnes handles it all with such cool and stoic exterior, she's such a little sweetheart. But Agnes is not without flaws herself. The whole duration of the book I kept wishing that she would stop caring so much about what her friends thought of her - everything she did, everything she persevered to endure was to keep her face and honor in front of her friends, and to me that just wasn't a good reasoning.
I absolutely adored how awkwardly honest Agnes always was, and how she herself always admitted it.
“No, thank you, I don't mind the rain,' I said. I always lacked common sense when taken by surprise.”
Most of the side character will make you blind with rage, especially Rosalie Murray - that girl was so backwards I was surprised she could walk a straight line. The novel portrays very well how riches and negligence will make anyone rotten spoiled and how amidst all of that those who have their principles in check will persevere no matter the trials.
While not as emotional as works of her sisters, Anne Bronte's Agnes Grey is an excellent quick read - if the simple plot doesn't do you well, then read it simply for the excellence of writing.
Freelance BETA reader.