The Bronte Plot to the Rescue?

Can there be meaning from The Bronte Sisters that will change your world?

Title:  The Bronte Plot
Author:  Katherine Reay
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: November 3, 2015



When Lucy’s secret is unearthed, her world begins to crumble. But it may be the best thing that has ever happened to her.

Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious liberties to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend, James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.

In a sudden turn of events, James’s wealthy grandmother, Helen, hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy’s predicament better than anyone else.
As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen’s wisdom as Helen confronts ghosts from her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters’ beloved heroines who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of impossible circumstances.

Now Lucy must face her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.

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I am so mixed on this book. It's one of those books that it took a while for me to get into. It felt flat at the beginning, almost like watching the same old start of a romantic story in a Hallmark movie (and not the good ones).  I mean there were some little things that piqued my interest, such as what's with James' grandmother during her first meeting with Lucy? And who doesn't like great lines, which there are a few early on.  Still, I kept thinking, do I like this?  A little before midway through, this stroke of momentum and depth hit.  Exactly where? I can't tell you, because I was just reading and then I kept reading, obviously very into it until I realize, yes, I do.  

I do like it for reasons that any book lover love a book. For the lines, for characters that develop and grow, not necessarily blossom, but definitely a change, and for the plot.  For me, I guess it actually is more because I can relate to Lucy.  Possibly every one at some point in their life, they can too. Haven't you ever made a mistake that just spiraled out of control because you just don't know how to fix it?  Well, reading about Lucy reminded me of me and my mistakes in the past.  Her uncertainties in how to fix it is real. Her desire to please is real. Her self disparaging is real and her final epiphany of hopes are real.  Now, don't laugh at me. I know Lucy is a character in a book.  She's not real.  It is the emotions behind this character that's real, and I've felt it and experienced it and in the end rallied for her.  Her journey in The Bronte Plot is the crux of this book for me, and I'm glad I read on. There's more to praise, such as the beautiful imagery of their travels and some fun parts, but I want to focus my review on my thoughts.  I believe that in time, this will be a book I would want to go back to, re-read and experience alongside Lucy again, reminding me that mistakes happen, learn from it, and endure with courage to face it. 

"...we all see the world through a lens, a unique lens. For C.S. Lewis, it was Christianity. You have yours; I have mine. They're different, and for you to understand me at all, you first have to accept that." (218)
 "You've got your own mess. Find out who you are and what you want.  Not what they want for you, but what you want, because life is short and...regrets are exhausting.  And I can tell you, they're also very very heavy." (219)
"...I'm not guaranteed a happy ending just because I make it to the last page - every choice along the way matters and they have real consequences." (307) 
And at last, this quote from early on sums up why I do like this book and will recommend it.  “...reading forms your opinions, your worldview, especially childhood reading, and anything that does that has an impact. So call them friends, call some stories enemies if you want, but don’t deny their influence.” (38) I'm not denying The Bronte Plot's influence. You shouldn't too.

NOTE: I received a complimentary digital copy from the publisher, through NetGalley for an honest review. 



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Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries—who provide constant inspiration both for writing and for life. Katherine’s first novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist and winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut as well as Carol Awards for both Best Debut and Best Contemporary. She is also the writer behind Dear Mr. Knightley and The Bronte Plot – all contemporary stories with a bit of “classics" flairKatherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, runner, former marketer, avid chocolate consumer and, randomly, a tae kwon do black belt. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine and her family recently moved back to Chicago. 

CONNECT WITH KATHERINE:  website, facebook, twitter, pinterest



  1. Katherine Reay is a new author to me. Thanks for the review. Blessings


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