Thursday, March 10, 2011

Villette Readalong Weeks 4 and 5

Yes, that's right, I'm behind again.  I'm trying to listen to this while I'm working and some days just don't yield much listening time!

Week Four's reading was a pleasant respite after all of the goings on in Week Three's reading.  Lucy spent the time recovering from her breakdown at the home of Dr John and Mrs. Bretton.  While she delighted in spending time with friends after spending so much time alone, they delighted in introducing her to the delights of Villette.  Interestingly, Monsieur Paul Emmanuel, appears more and more in Lucy's story.  When we were first introduced to him, Lucy had nothing nice at all to say about him, But when he finds her in an art gallery, sitting in front of a painting he doesn't approve of and moves her to more "appropriate" works, she finds his concern for her less annoying than you might expect.  Gradually she seems to be finding good characteristics in M. Paul and they agree to be friends.

John's relationship with Ginevra Fanshawe, which we only just discovered, is, perhaps, irreparably damaged when, while at the theater, she snubs Mrs. Bretton and openly flirts with another man in front of him.  Now that Lucy has spent so much time with John and finding him now unattached, her heart begins to run away with her a bit.  But Lucy is nothing if not reasonable and she and her Reason spend a lot of time together and Reason generally seems to win.  But it's not able to stop Lucy from beginning to visions of a ghost nun.

Just as Lucy begins to hope that John may care for her, Polly home and her father return in the guise of the de Bassompierres.  Mr. Home has been given the title of Count and Polly is now a Countess.  Despite the fact that she is still little more than a child, John becomes smitten with her.  Now it is also revealed that Polly and Ginerva are cousins and poor Lucy has to put up with the foolishness of both of the girls. But she's more than willing to tolerate it because she's both exceedingly tolerant and unwilling to put her friendship with the families at risk.

I am so ready for Lucy to just take a chance, to cut loose a little bit and maybe even to throw a temper tantrum because she's so darn tired of being the poor little poor girl.


  1. Agree, she need to stand on her own more and as someone was commenting, get a social life that does not revolve just around Dr John as his mother. It would do her a world of good, I'm sure.

  2. I am thinking of reading this one in April for my classic a month project. I already have A Tale of Two Cities as my March read, but April is wide open!

  3. I'm just stopping by to actually comment on this even though I've seen it on your side bar for a little bit now. I have never read anything by the Bronte sisters but I just saw an advanced screening of the new movie Jane Eyre and it was extraordinary! I am now wanting to pick up the book, finally and read more of the sisters.

  4. Have you read this before? From your comment on my blog, it seems like you have. So you know whether Lucy goes crazy or not?! Ahhh, I can't wait to see (don't tell me, even if I beg). :)

  5. It's funny how everyone ends up in Villette ;)
    Lucy does need a bit of a shake sometimes and stop being so cautious... over cautious I'd say!

  6. I found it somewhat amazing that John didn't recognise Polly, or even remember any of their childhood ramblings. I found that more strange than some of the contrivances this book throws at us. I guess you get used to it when you read enough Victorian literature. Thomas Hardy is also a major culprit.