‘Shirley’ by Charlotte Bronte

I was first introduced to Charlotte Bronte in high school with “Jane Eyre”, one of my all-time favorite classics book, and one that I have read multiple times. I figured now was the time to try to read something else by Charlotte Bronte. Some of her books are on my reading list for The Classics Club and as luck would have it, “Shirley” got picked for the latest CC Spin and we had 9 weeks to read it. Easy enough.

So here we are, January 30th, and I am sorry to say that I have yet to finish it and I am even debating whether to set it aside for good. I’m so disappointed with this read and honestly, I am kind of bored with it at this point.

For one thing, the pacing of this book is sooo slow and while I understand some authors want to unfold story little by little, I feel that it takes forever to get to the character for which this book is named. Shirley is not introduced to the reader until halfway through. Rather it would seem that the main character is Caroline as we learn about all about her and she becomes front and center to the story. Even when Shirley is first introduced, the author narrates Caroline’s movements more.

While I know that this is the point in the book where things may pick up, I feel like I shouldn’t have to work so hard. I can’t relate to any of the characters and honestly feel like Caroline’s story line has gone flat. Basically, she is in love with Robert Moore and her woes as she tries to make him see her in the same way. Nothing new has happened in the last 50 or so pages. I want to keep reading but I am afraid to be disappointed if nothing changes.

This is becoming more of a rant than a review at this point, so I will leave it here. I am going to keep the book to the side and pick it up at random, with the hope of eventually finishing it. Perhaps I may surprise everyone in a few months with a new review. Or I may DNF it permanently. Whatever its fate, I am just glad that “Jane Eyre” was my first Charlotte Bronte read.


Have you read “Shirley”? Are there any other Charlotte Bronte books I should try? Let’s discuss?

7 thoughts on “‘Shirley’ by Charlotte Bronte

  1. The only Charlotte Bronte I have read was Jane Eyre and I also loved it. Sorry Shirley didn’t work for you, I guess the Classics truly are a matter of you win some, you lose some.

    I did finish my spin, it fell on Around the World in Eighty Days and it’s thankfully on of those books that just about everyone likes!

    Elza Reads

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] This is the book that I didn’t finish and I am not sure that I will. I was excited to read another book by Charlotte Bronte and “Shirley” was the book chosen for the latest Classic Club spin. What I didn’t count on was the book being so slow. By the time you are introduced to Shirley, you are almost halfway through the book and I was already over it. I explain more in my review. […]

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  3. I am sorry Shirley was a disappointment. I’m reading Shirley right now and it is disappointing to me also. I’ve read Jane Eyre several times and love it every time I read it. I will keep reading Shirley and hopefully it won’t be a DNF. Thanks for your honest review.

    Like

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