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I want to start off by saying the woman who reads this book is wonderful. However, Villette is one of Charlotte Brontë's lesser known novels for good reason. Most of what is written is irrelevant to the plot and the ending is very unsatisfying. It's definitely not a pleasure read and I only suggest reading it to study the narcissistic tendencies of the main character.
What would have made Villette better?
Would you ever listen to anything by Charlotte Brontë again?
Yes, because I like some of her other works
What about Nadia May’s performance did you like?
So often British performers (at least the inexperienced ones) fall into the trap of letting their voice fall in the same exact way over and over, but Nadia May fluctuated her voice perfectly so that your ear never tired of listening to her voice. Her performance makes you forget that she is reading to you. Her French accent is superb and often throughout the book the passages are in untranslated French. If I were reading on my own this would probably be an issue, but because of the way Nadia reads it I was able to catch the meaning of the language without knowing exactly what was said.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
The performance of Nadia May is the biggest redeeming quality. Other than that, this book struck me as one that you really need to analyze to enjoy. Bronte uses a lot of symbolism and if you don't know her background as the author you may not be privileged to fully comprehending what she is getting at in Villette.
Any additional comments?
This story was insanely boring. It wasn't until a couple chapters in that I realized who the main character was, but for the majority of the book I found myself asking, "Where is this going? Are we even building to anything at all?" Unfortunately the ending wasn't as satisfying as I had hoped it would be.