The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay


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Lucy is dishonest – there is no way to sugar coat this but when she is in a soup she stands up and takes responsibility. The simple fibs, the silly exaggerations, and anecdotes she makes up at times to impress; we all are guilty of doing a little bit like that sometimes. The Brontë Plot is a book with so much depth as it unravels the truth. Not a simple or fast read; it urges the reader to unwind. To take a comfortable seat and enjoy the journey Lucy takes along with Helen. They both have their own different reasons but are perfect for the trip together.

Helen for her past and Lucy for her future and together they enjoy a splendid present sorting it all. I have never visited England but reading the descriptions by Katherine was like seeing it all. I could feel the wind, enjoy the sights and sounds. The characters are so real and interesting and described so well.

“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.”

These lines best describe the life changing and difficult decisions that Lucy needed to take. Acceptance and closure were most important as she unravels the past and embraces change to accept her shortcomings and works towards overcoming them.

Helen, the voice of wisdom and concern is a tool by which Lucy finds herself and truly embraces herself with her mistakes and imperfections. The book is initially slow and takes a bit of time to get into the story but then progresses swiftly.  The wait for Lucy to actually meet her father was a bit much; I kept hoping that we would bump into him anytime!

“I’ve never heard anyone talk about books like you do. It’s like they’re your friends.”

This line pretty much made me fall in love with the author since she described the feeling I get each time I find a book I find difficult to put down.

The author describes her best-loved authors and how they portrayed life and changes through their characters and she has tried the same. Revisiting the Brontë sisters as well as use them as the basis for how she works her own characters. This book is a mini lesson in English literature as well as a story that explores the faults and frailties of us humans.

Helen, Bette, James, Dillon, Anthony & Willa all have something to add to the story and to Lucy’s journey.  Of all the characters Sid with his creative talent and insights into people was my favorite. Maybe Katherine can write his story next, I think he deserves a book of his own.

This book is a journey of discovery and acceptance. For Helen it was her morality and for Lucy it was her character flaws. None of us are perfect but we can try to be good and that is what Lucy does eventually. She understands that life may not be fair but must not use it as an excuse to be dishonest; both in life and relationships.

“Come further up, Come further in.”

“With Courage to Endure”

This is what held the story together, Lucy making amends, difficult decisions but she held on. The book makes one introspect and explores the subtle hints the author has thrown. I am putting them up so I can read them each time I get stuck at work or life.   

I enjoyed reading The Brontë Plot and submerged myself into the world of Lucy and Helen along with the Brontë Sisters. I admit I have dusted out a few favorite classics after reading this book, such was its influence.

A book that makes me want to read more excellent fiction, whether classic or contemporary – what more could I ask from a book?

(© I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Fiction  and  Net Galley in return for  my  honest review.)

The Brontë Plot


Katherine Reay

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.


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  1. Pingback: The Austen Escape #BritishLiterature @katherine_reay

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