©2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I loved Agnes Grey. Agnes is a young woman of incredible character, and her integrity, patience, prudence, forbearance, self-control, humility, forgiveness, tenderness, and compassion are to be admired. It is so important to read about people one would want to emulate and would aspire to be like, and Agnes Grey is one such person. The comparisons and contrasts between all of the book's characters was an insight into humankind, as well. And, the ending...
Agnes Grey read by Emilia Fox is charming and engaging if not predictable (but who cares its a Bronte!). I thought the narrators voice was angelic and perfect for the meandering mind of the protagonist. I feel that I go back in time, that these audio books of stories from that century, make me feel like I am in my own time ship. The verses, the words used at that time, make English a beautiful language to me again. I love listening to the story but also enjoy the poetic verses that are throughout the book. IA lovely listen.
The Bronte sisters sure did know what they were about!!! I doubt I would have picked this book up at a bookstore and by not doing so would have missed a chance to a wonderful story. While somewhat predictable, it never the less compelles the listener to complete the story. Wonderfully written and read.
In addition to Performance and Story, I wish there was an additional measure which these recordings could be graded: Quality.
Audio quality was good enough. Original "do overs" by the reader were barely noticeable, which is better than many audio books.
One edit I wish was made was removal of "this is the end is side x," obvious marks of older media technology.
There was a low frequency rumble throughout. I listened with ear buds on a cloudy day and kept pausing, thinking a storm was rolling in.
This is the second time I have listened to this book. In many ways, it best describes the details of women becoming "matched" in the late 1800's. The book outlines well the efforts of Miss Rosalee Murray to ensnare someone of sufficient resources -- and then illustrates the terrible bargain she (and doubtless many others) has struck.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
Anne is often overlooked among the Bronte family, and this book shows why. It's hard to overlook the martyred tone. I read this for a book club and might not otherwise have finished it. If you can overlook the unpleasant heroine, there is some wonderful description in the writing.
I'd recommend this mostly for people wanting the entire Bronte experience. Anne is much better represented by "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall".
Michelle my Belle
After listening to Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, I found Agnes Grey tame by comparison. However, I enjoyed Anne Bronte's quiet and thoughtful story of a level-headed woman who makes her way in the world with poise and grace.
Anne is my favorite Bronte, the one who is real, not romantic. Agnes Grey is a beautiful novel. It's tight. Long but not too long, there is nothing irrelevant, no filler in this book.
Emilia Fox is perfect, the perfect narrator for this. Her characterizations are flawless, her voice is pleasant, and there is no sense of her reading a book, only telling a story.
Lyrical, humorous, and preachy.
In fact I quite liked the would-be villain, Rosalie Murray. She wasn't a kind person, but the reader could also sympathize with the intractability of her position as a woman of that era. She wanted adventure and amusement, but in the end couldn't escape her fate as a cloistered country aristocrat.
I loved the soft, reflective quality of her narration. She also managed to vocalize each of the characters uniquely without resorting to exaggerated voices.
Among others, when Agnes travels to Wellwood for her first appointment as a governess. She's excited to begin her new life, but when the house comes into view from her carriage window she wishes it were just a few miles further away. I experienced the same sentiment the first time I moved away from home at around Agnes' age.
I loved Emilia Fox's narration but the quality of the recording is a little lacking. I had to lower the volume for her performance of Rosalie Murray's voice because the sound was much more piercing.
Final thought: the plot is overly moralizing (I told a friend it's essentially proto-Christian fiction), the romance rather uninspired, and no doubt some readers will be put off by Agnes' absolute moral superiority. That said, the elegance and precision of the writing more than make up for any deficiencies of characterization or overbearing religious admonitions. Really a beautifully composed book.
So far this is the first audiobook we have listened to.
I found that all the characters were really interesting.
I felt that Emilia Fox was very well chosen to read this particualr book, her voice just seemed to work very well with the period and style.
At times this book made me thoughtful, and at other times annoyed with what poor Agnes had to put up with. The descripitons of some characters and thier actions could be really amusing.
A good book to my mind is something you cannot put down, you just have to start reading or listening to it till the end. Not much could keep us sitting quietly for 80 mins, but this did.
This is a delightful story, very well read. The long moral discourses
I found interesting as they reminded me of my upbringing!
A predictable story about a virtuous girl's hard life as a governess and the eventual change in her fortunes. All very nice, but it lacks the atmosphere, complexity and unexpectedness of other books by the Bröntes. The narration is fine, although nothing special. Also, I don't know whether I'm the only one to have had this problem but, when I listened using headphones, there was an annoying background noise as if the audio had been re-recorded from a tape.
"gentle rather than gripping"
I don't think I'd have finished this if reading it on the printed page as I did find it rather slow to start.
It was difficult not to judge with a modern perspective. A modern heroine would be expected to show more backbone and resistance to her employers' unreasonable demands, but the author was writing either from the perspective of what was normal then, or what she perceived as the ideal reaction of a contemporary heroine. Perhaps this would have sat better if written in the third person; too often it came across as 'I have been hard done by, but am still a good person'. This might have been more interesting if we had viewed how Agnes was treated and reacted to that treatment from a separate perspective
It was clear that the love interest was the author's ideal man, gentle, perceptive, kind to the old and poor etc.
I would have liked more development of the mother's character, particularly from what we learn of independent attitude at the end.
The whole was very well narrated and brought life to the first person voice of the book.
Overall, enjoyable, but not one I'd listen to again
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