Agnes Grey

Agnes Grey - Angeline Goreau, Anne Brontë I set out to read this book as a "buddy read" with a friend, after we both decided that we needed to read something by Anne Brontë, having already read the famous novels of her sisters. Admittedly, I did not pay very much attention to the description of this novel, because it was the third in a three-novel Brontë collection I already owned, and therefore the chosen book for my foray into the third Brontë sister.

I would be lying if I said I truly enjoyed this book. It was significantly lacking in an actual plot, and to be perfectly honest I found Agnes to be a rather dull main character. I recognize that, in the historical context of the book, it's logical for a woman (and, therefore, a female character) to be reserved and, well, boring. Still, it's not as though literature from this era is completely devoid of strong female leads, so I feel justified in wishing that Agnes were a more dynamic leading woman.

As for the missing plot, this became less of a problem as the book went on and it became clear that the "plot" was simply an extended and detailed account of Agnes' life story. In the end, I didn't mind this as much as I otherwise might have, because it became clear what the story was meant to be about. Still, I was disappointed that there were no real themes or deeper messages to be found, as the primary appeal in classic literature, for me, is the profoundness and depth that can usually be found in the writing. This is not to suggest that Anne is a poor writer, or that Agnes Grey was poorly written, but I would have found the novel far more enjoyable if there were some greater meaning that I could have taken away from it.

All of the above said, Agnes did grow on me after a while of reading (it's not her fault she had a rather dull story, to be fair), and the hopeless romantic in me was rather pleased by the ending (especially Snap! Because freaking AWWWWWWW), so this was not an entirely unenjoyable read in the end. If you're a fan of classic literature and don't mind an exceedingly slow pace, I would recommend giving this a chance.