Review: The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

Posted January 1, 2016 by Lillian in Reviews / 1 Comment

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Review: The Brontë Plot by Katherine ReayThe Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay
Published by Thomas Nelson on 2015-11-3
Length: 336 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley

Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy's secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.

In a sudden turn of events, James's wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy's predicament better than anyone else.

As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen's wisdom, as Helen confronts the ghosts of her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters' beloved heroines, who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of change.

Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that's been waiting for her all along.

The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay left me with mixed feelings. There were some aspects of the story I really enjoyed and others not so much.

Lucy Alling is an ordinary girl with the propensity for telling tall tales.* When it’s discovered that the rare books she sales are not so rare as they are forged, she finds herself lost. She’s let down the only people who seem to care about her: her boss and her boyfriend. When the opportunity to go to London presents itself, she takes it. Lucy is a bit hard to like, but at the same time I didn’t dislike her either. Unfortunately for me, she was a flat character with little to hold my attention.

*This is just a fancy way of saying she lies….a lot!

The plot was all over the place. Lucy goes to London with her ex-boyfriend’s wealthy grandmother Helen as a sales consultant. Helen reveals a bit about how Lucy’s past intertwines with her own and the two set off on an adventure. For Lucy this adventure is about finding closure and making a new start. She wants to be good, desperately so, but she finds herself lying constantly. She lies to make others feel better or to the benefit of those she cares about it. It’s a real problem for her and one she finds herself struggling with as the book goes on. It disgusts her and I had a hard time sympathizing with her when things started going bad, because honestly she did it to herself.

What I enjoyed were the fun facts about London and the Lake District that were interspersed throughout the novel. This made for a fun read, one that I enjoyed trying to look up and find on my own. Like Reay’s other novels, this book centers on the Brontë sisters, their real life struggles and their characters. These are seamlessly intertwined into the story.

Overall the book was just okay for me which was disappointing. If you enjoy contemporary, women’s fiction with some history thrown in for fun, I suggest you take a look at this book. It may be for you, it wasn’t for me.

Final Conclusion:

About Katherine Reay

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries -- who provide constant inspiration both for writing and for life. Katherine’s first novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist and winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut as well as Carol Awards for both Best Debut and Best Contemporary. She is also the writer behind Lizzy & Jane and the The Bronte Plot – all contemporary stories with a bit of "classics" flair. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, runner, former marketer, avid chocolate consumer and, randomly, a tae kwon do black belt. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine and her family recently moved back to Chicago.

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