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.
Title: The Brontë Plot
Author: Katherine Reay
Genre: Literary Fiction / Contemporary Fiction / Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: November 13, 2015
All real lives hold controversy, trials, mistakes, and regrets. What matters is what you do next. ~Katherine Reay, The Brontë Plot
Let’s start with what I liked about The Brontë Plot:
- Setting is an antique shop where Lucy works and resells books she has picked up elsewhere.
- The setting is so real you can smell the leather bindings, the dust, and the mustiness of old objects.
- Lucy’s love of books is palpable.
- Lucy’s boss is reliant on her to the point the reader realizes her worth in the shop.
- I love the references to old classics and their writers.
- James brings another layer of love for books but also his love for Lucy, who falls in love with him (love it when a plan comes together!).
- James’s Grandmother is the character who brings to the forefront the strong theme underlying this story.
- The subtle theme of redemption, forgiveness, and love.
When you’ve read this list, you’ve learned a good bit about the things I like in the bookish life. All these things come together to create Katherine Reay’s The Brontë Plot.
What didn’t I like? There isn’t much to tell here. I’m a great fan of Katherine Reay’s writing and all her earlier books. For me, this was a very fast read. A read I enjoyed immensely.
For a point of interest, do you have any idea how many classics were mentioned in this book? Sandra Peoples at Living and Loving My Plan B Life compiled a list of the books mentioned throughout The Brontë Plot and shared it on her blog. You can reach the list by using this link. I was amazed at the length of her list.
I can’t recommend Katherine Reay’s The Brontë Plot highly enough. She has written now a total of three books, one published each year since 2013. Reay has a finite connection with the emotions and mentality behind the works she bases her novels upon. Setting the classic themes in today’s world makes them highly readable and enjoyable. I find them to be among those books I’ve enjoyed the most in the last three years. If you enjoy well written fiction and themes centered around real people, I think you’ll fall in love with Reay’s books too.
Meet Katherine Reay:
What to say? . . . I am a writer, a wife, a mom, a runner, a tennis player, a tae kwon do black belt (how random is that?), a wanna be chef, a disorganized housekeeper, but compulsive vacuumist, and a horrific navigator. One of my son’s favorite stories to tell friends is that I tend to argue with the car’s GPS before going my own way — sure that I know better. It’s a gift…
I started my professional career in marketing and I’ve morphed into a novelist. I like this much better. Fiction is powerful stuff, I think. It allows us to convey truth in meaningful and palatable ways — one reading of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and you’ve got the whole gospel Narnia-style without ever leaving an amazing adventure.
But to have a really good story — you have to engage a complex and authentic character. If I can relate to/empathize with/care about a character, then her journey becomes mine and I learn about myself and the world around me — perhaps in ways I never imagined. And that’s provocative…