I just finished a most satisfying read: Romancing Miss Bronte, by Juliet Gael. Though it was published this year, it was as fulfilling as one of the Bronte sisters' books themselves, which were penned in the mid-1800's. If you're a fan of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights or even Jane Austen, you will appreciate this work of historical fiction.
Nowadays, my reading selections lean toward the more pressing themes in my life. The subject matter tends to vacillate from "Ohmygosh We're Homeschooling, What-Have-We-Done?" to "Dear Lord I've Messed Up Again On The Same Stuff I Prayed About Last Week..." to "What Are We, CRAZY Living on One Income In This Economy?" and the occasional "Hop on One Fish Goodnight Clifford." "Romancing" was a welcome reprieve.
One of our local libraries lent me this book and I was able to read through it fairly quickly, in spite of it being over 400 pages. I might even return it before incurring a fine! I've been sick this weekend and have "oft taken to my bed" allowing longer reading sessions. It seems that whenever I read this style of novel - Victorian? Romantic? Gothic, even? - that I am sick and have more time than usual to read. Being ill myself, I am able to identify well with one or more of the characters, who iinvariably are dying of consumption. Not that I have TB or anything, but these are the type of books that are well suited to immersion and not a few stolen minutes here or there.
I wish I could speak with more scholarly authority on Romantic Fiction, the Victorians or even Gothic Fiction. Unfortunately, during my undergraduate years as an English major, I had other interests: Flingin' spaghetti and doling out Chianti* in a quaint Italian restaurant....discovering Jack Kerouac, Ernest Hemingway and the Grateful Dead.... I didn't come to appreciate really good literature** until much later.
You should pick up this book once I return it, or order it online somewhere. As a work of historical fiction, if you appreciate any of the Victorian authors or themes, you will enjoy looking at the lives of the famous sisters. And then, if you're like me, you can return to your regular ("Quick-There's-A-Penny-On-The-Ground-Get-It-And-Squeeze-It") subject matter.
*Often ordered thus: "Oh, and gimme some of that "SHY-ANN-TEE waine..."
**This is neither the time nor the place to discuss whether On The Road or Dharma Bums qualifies as good literature. Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not. It depends on the mooooood. And the Beat.