Monthly Archives: December 2013

Fast Broken!

picardieefinalSo having breakfast is literally breaking your nighttime fast. And I am breaking my blogging fast. And I ashamedly admit that it is for no other reason than busyness that I have let my very new blog fall to the wayside. But I am making a pre-new year resolution to post a new blog every two weeks. The thing is that I have been reading quite voraciously over the past couple of months, so I am going to try over the Christmas break from school (although not much of a break at work) to post those reviews. For today, I am going to be breaking down my thoughts on “Daphne” by Justine Picardie. I do not recall why or when I picked up this book. I vaguely recall having it on my list of books to buy that I consult whenever I enter a used bookstore, but I’m not sure why. Picardie’s book is about Daphne du Maurier as she struggles to write her biography on Branwell Bronte (the lesser known brother of the Bronte sisters) and about Jane, 50 years later, looking to write her dissertation on Daphne du Maurier’s time writing about Branwell. “Daphne” has a gothic sense as it focusses on feelings of isolation, ghosts, mental illness, and the toll that writing and intellectual research has on the pysche. The dark feel of the “Daphne” coincides with the Bronte sisters’ famous gothic novels and du Maurier’s successful thriller Rebecca. This book made me want to read Jane EyreWuthering Heights, and Rebecca again. However, I have no desire to read this book again. The content was interesting and Picardie did a great job of weaving the first person narratives of Daphne, Jane, and Symington (disgraced Bronte librarian and Daphne’s Branwell researcher). But I found myself become lost and disinterested in the depressing mental conflicts in which each character flounders. I also feel there is no real resolution to the problems that the book arises. (spoiler alert here) Emily Bronte’s poetry book gets lost to mold? Jane just gives up on her dissertation when she was so consumed by it? Daphne and her husband just settle back into their version of comfortable domesticity? What was Daphne’s book on Branwell really about and was it successful? It seems that Picardie gets so lost in these other novels and historical tales, that she forgets to write her own novel with an ending and purpose. Not a satisfying read.

2.5 out of 5 bacon strips (because sometimes a girl needs a half)

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