Thursday, November 5, 2015

Review: "The Bronte Plot" by Katherine Reay

In The Bronte Plot, Lucy Alling works at a reputable antique shop for with the owner, her mentor, Sid. She loves her job, but her favorite part is what she loving refers to as Book Day, where she takes care of all of the special edition, rare books. It's through these rare books that she takes an interest in a young attorney, James, who comes in to buy a few books as gifts. They begin dating, but it ends abruptly when James catches her using unscrupulous business tactics.

However, James' grandmother, Helen, takes a special interest in Lucy, and after the break up she hires Lucy as an antique consultant for a trip to England. With Helen's health condition precarious, her family is outraged by her decision, and simply don't understand. But for Helen, it's a trip of going back to go forward, and Lucy plays an important role in Helen's personal mission. 

Though Lucy is slow to admit it, the trip holds similar trials for her as well. She is reluctant, but anxious, in seeking her estranged father, whose only contact for more than a decade has been to send Lucy a book on her birthday.  The most recent was postmarked England. But she knows that a love of fabricating stories runs in the family, and she's not quite ready to face the reality of how much her father's lies have hurt her, and shaped her.

Lucy, her father, Helen, and James all share a love a literature that runs common through the novel, uniting the characters. Author Katherine Reay, as with her other two novels (Dear Mr. Knightley and Lizzy & Jane), includes many quotes and references to classical literature, especially the Bronte sisters. A novel for book lovers, whether or not your exact tastes line up with the characters, The Bronte Plot is another delightful escape into a the lives of characters you'll love from the beginning despite their flaws.

I especially enjoyed the pacing of the book, which though there was downtime in Helen and Lucy's England journey, every moment was vital to the characters' growth and it was captivating to watch it play out. Every piece lead toward the forgiveness, redemption, and honesty that came with the characters facing their pasts to ultimately move forward.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Book Look for this review.  The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

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