April 2024
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Review: The Brontes Went to Woolworths, Rachel Ferguson

The Brontes Went to WoolworthsSummary from the back:

As growing up in pre-war London looms large in the lives of the Carne sisters, Deirdre, Katrine, and young Sheil still cannot resist making up stories as they have done since childhood; from their talking nursery toys to their fulsomely imagined friendship with real high-court Judge Toddington.  But when Deirdre meets the judge’s real life wife at a charity bazaar the sisters are forced to confront the subject of their imaginings.  Will they cast off the fantasies of childhood forever?

I really wanted to love this book.  I think what threw me was how imaginative the sisters actually were.  I had such a hard time figuring out when they were playing and when they were actually living.  It’s playful and funny, but almost too much so for the first half.  Luckily, it improved when Deirdre met Mrs. Toddington because finally real life started to have a discernible effect on the novel and it all interwove in a charming way as the girls start to grow up and realize how damaging their fantasies can be.

I did enjoy the language; it’s so playfully British that it’s hard not to cherish each individual word!  The time period is also interesting and I know I’d like to read more classics with this sort of feel to them.  But mostly, I feel like I missed the part that makes this book brilliant.  I think I was too caught up in just how childish their games felt to me – and I thought it was a little mean on their part, as well.  It was all in fun but it did feel a little like they were mocking the people when they didn’t even know what they were like.  I guess I’m just too much of a wet blanket!

In short, I think The Brontes Went to Woolworths could be charming for another reader, but it didn’t quite cut it for me.

I am an Amazon Associate. I bought this book.


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