Having read nothing by Charlotte Bronte before, with the exception of Jane Eyre, I was eager to sign up for the Villette read-along hosted by Wallace of Unputdownables. The schedule is easy (five chapters a week) and the reading a delight. There is time for you to join in should you so choose.
The first five chapters give us an introduction to the following characters:
- Lucy Snowe, our narrator
- Mrs. Bretton, her godmother
- Miss Paulina (Polly) Home, a precocious and diminutive six year old who is utterly charmed by
- John Grahame, the sixteen year old son of Mrs. Bretton, and finally,
- Miss Marchmont who hired Lucy to care for her infirmities.
After Miss Marchmont has died, before leaving Lucy any funds as hoped, Lucy takes herself to London which is a rather bold thing for such a humble woman to do.
All at once my position rose on me like a ghost. Anomalous; desolate, almost blank of hope, it stood. What was I doing here alone in great London? What should I do on the morrow? What prospects had I in life? What friends had I on earth? Whence did I come? Whither should I go? What should I do?
I wet the pillow, my arms, and my hair, with rushing tears. A dark interval of most bitter thought followed this burst; but I did not regret the step taken, nor wish to retract it. A strong, vague persuasion, that it would be better to go forward than backward, and that I could go forward-that a way, however narrow and difficult, would in time open, predominated over other feelings…
Shortly after this passage Chapter 5 comes to a close, leaving me with a deep admiration for Miss Lucy Snowe’s courage coupled with a deeper curiosity as to where her adventure will lead.
Every Thursday in February and March will contain a post over the subsequent five chapters of Villette. Check in here, or other participants’ blogs listed in Wallace’s post, to follow along. Unless you decide to read this novel with us. 😉