I snagged this for the read-a-thon because it’s short and paperbacky and the font is just this side of large-print, which makes for speedy reading, PLUS it sort of counts as lazy background reading for my Vic Lit class. But not really.
ANYway, I totally didn’t thon it because LOOK AT IT!!! You know that book’s going to be disappointing garbage. And then it came up due, but it’s easier to renew things online than it is to actually walk the four blocks to the library to return them, which is how it came to still be here this morning when I left for the gym.
Ok, will post this review some wee hours, but do not be confused. In real time, it is 4:30 p.m. and I have actually done plenty today, but mostly I read this. Be not fooled by the idiotic cover, the idiotic premise (modern-day romantic throwback Bronte shit), the idiotic blurbs that promise ‘a zippy romp’ only when such a romp is not forthcoming. This is Really Good.
Remember when I read The White Darkness and I was all, This bit of YA is not talking dumb to me!?!?! Well THIS bit of literary romantic fiction gave me similar benefits of brainy doubts! And I know, literary romantic fiction! *watches you all run shrieking from the room, waits for you to come back because you know I do not bullshit you* Yes, there are books involved (Bronte project), and yes, there are matters of the heart involved (Bronte project!) but it isn’t stupid or smarmy or twee.
Sara is a Bronte scholar who spends most of her time hunting up C.Bront’s old letters but then OH NO HER FIANCE CUTS AND RUNS!! (Whatever, you saw that coming, because romance isn’t romance without TENSIONS!!) So Paul the fiance is out, and Claire the when-I-speak-of-my-breasts-I-speak-of-the-power-of-woman hyper-feminist force of nature is in as Sara’s new colleague and frenemy (did I mention that Sara teaches part-time? And that Claire is an eensy bit the reason behind Paul’s sudden departure? But not in the way that you’re suspecting right now? TENSIONS!)
And suddenly (but, bizarrely, making total sense) Sara’s life is a whirlwind of movie producers and men who think that their whole lives are poems (which starts off nutty and irritating, but becomes endearing while your back is turned) and a rather mad, ambiguously gay duo who live perpetually in the 19th century. Charmant! And I know that this isn’t a plot summary so much as a loose collection of words, but it’s Brimstone Wedding all over again, where if I try to blurb it it’s going to sound douchey, and you aren’t going to want to read it.
And you should. I want to say that it’s adorable and fun and makes for an excellent afternoon, but that sort of obscures how smart it is. Does this happen to you? English words fail you and you speak no Portuguese?
Caterpillars, then. Eight .