November has arrived, and although opening up holiday books seems like the reasonable choice, I will postpone those novels for December. Instead, I thought I’d continue with two authors I read from last month, which were Charles Dickens and Virginia Wolf. I’m also convinced that I need to add more books by Charlotte Brontë to my small, but growing, library. Dickens and Brontë both kept me engaged with their writing and storytelling. I even found myself in tears while reading both, not to mention, there were a few repeated late nights as I was determined to learn what would happen next.
NOVEMBER’S BOOK LIST:
1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Set during the backdrop of World War II, this book follows the lives of a French girl, who is blind, and a German boy, and how their worlds meet.
2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The setting of this story is in Kent and London. It focuses on the life of Pip, an orphan boy, and his development, as the reader observes various decisions and events that occur in his life, and the impact those circumstances have on his future.
3. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolf
This story takes place in England, during post World War I. While the main character, Mrs. Dalloway, is preparing for a party, Wolf engages the reader by unfolding the thoughts of the characters in a way that presents the past and present, and the influence the past has on their present lives.
RECAP OF OCTOBER’S BOOK LIST:
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
This book has become one of my favorites. It’s written somewhat like an autobiography, from the viewpoint of the main character, Jane Eyre. The writing is full of beautiful descriptions and words, that it makes you feel as though you are going on a journey with Jane, as you see the world, her experiences, and her reflections through her eyes. You also get to watch her grow and develop, overcome hardship, and process through feelings of love.
2. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
“It was the worst of times, it was the best of times…” are the famous opening lines to this book. The story begins by introducing the main characters and the connection they have to each other. As the story picks up five years later, the foreshadowing of the French Revolution becomes more present. Dickens paints a clear description of the distinction between the aristocrats and the poor, and the massive gap that separates their lifestyles, causing the reader to feel empathy for those in poverty and indifference towards the rich. While this is taking place, the relationship between the characters deepen, which leads to the unfolding of secrets, uncovering the unknown past. The third part of the book picks up intensity as the scene shifts into the bloody and violent outbreak of the French Revolution, placing the life of one of the characters in grave danger. The main characters must face an environment uprooted of its laws, lacking in mercy, and full of vengeance.
3. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Wolf
I’ve never really considered the history of women fiction writers and how they had to write under the harsh criticism of men, who often viewed themselves as the more superior of the sexes. In addition, I don’t always consider the gender of the author, of the books I read, and how that may impact the portrayal of both sexes within the book’s characters. It was really interesting to read Wolf’s observations and insights regarding the topic of women and fiction and the progress of women writers.