Agnes Grey

Anne Brontë
Agnes Grey is the touching story of a young girl who decides to enter the world as a governess, but whose bright illusions of acceptance, freedom and friendship are gradually destroyed. Drawing on her own experience, Anne Brontë charts the development of gentle Agnes and sympathetically depicts the harsh treatment she receives along the way. Leaving her idyllic home and close-knit family, Agnes arrives at the Bloomfield’s residence, inside whose walls reign cruelty and neglect. Although faced with tyrannical children and over-indulgent parents, the generosity of spirit and warm candour learnt from her own family never desert her. Agnes also remains firm in the Murray household, where she is used by the two disdainful young daughters for their own deceitful ends and where her chances of happiness are almost spoiled for her. A deeply moving account, Agnes Grey seriously discusses the contempt and inhumanity shown towards the poor though educated woman of the Victorian age, whose only resource was to become a governess.


Reviewed: 2018-12-27

Other than the fact that, for what is ultimately not a very long book, there are endless prefaces detailing the life and times of the Brontës and multiple appendices with study guides and questions (which I skipped over, after the first one), this story tends towards brevity. It's first person and reminded me more of Jane Austen than either of Anne's sisters. 
Our MC, Agnes, is a somewhat sheltered, intelligent girl. She finds that she feels obligated to find gainful employment to assist in the family income and as such goes to work as a governess. She learns a lot about how cruddy being hired help can be. 
Brace y'all's selves, there's romance here! It's ultra slow burn, based very much on the actual character of the characters (haha!), and the understanding of the characters of the other characters' characters (hah hah HAH!). As a slow burn, there's some angst but, in my opinion, it's well written and believable.

I really did like this one. There's a lot of witty lines (i'm going to have to add the quotes myself as apparently I didn't purchase this one from Amazon...) and enjoyable word use. There is nothing outlandish or OTT in this book. There are no twists or gotcha moments. It's just a story about an ordinary girl of perhaps* slightly above average intelligence/integrity trying to figure out how to make it in a world that is not predisposed to be forgiving of her gender, nor her class. It was not long and was sort of refreshing.

*perhaps because she's a decent, relatively well educated and academically driven, productive woman surrounded by people who have no idea of right vs wrong, do not care whether they know or understand anything, and are lazy/completely uninterested in applying any effort whatsoever to anything ever

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@scaredofspiders completed #agnesgrey... on 2018-12-27
@scaredofspiders began #agnesgrey... on 2018-12-27