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I love Charlotte Bronte, her sisters and everything about this particular book. First of all, the narration is sublime. I can't wait to have Mandy Weston hired over and over again, to read book after book, especially of this time period. She is up there with Josephine Bailey who is one of my very favorite narrators. Villette is a masterpiece. It is too bad that Jane Eyre so overshadowed Charlottes other books. I loved Villette. I love the protaganist of Lucy Snowe. I lived in this book, I could barely function in this century while I was engrossed in this audio!!! More people, who love this genre need to hear this book, its just wonderful.
There is a lot of French in this book, if you don't understand it you will miss things, not hard to guess but still its annoying.
The reading is good, easy to listen to but the story is very long and there isn't that much that happens and its a totally rubbish ending.
The narrator is OK, but the story is really uneventful and bland with too many references to the "reader" and too much french. It's difficult to stay with what story there is.
I was a little disappointed in Villette. The narration is fine. But the novel is almost painfully lacking in any real events. The best thing about it is the subtle representation in Lucy Snowe, the narrator, of desires that she is not fully aware of. But she is a frustratingly cold and uncurious personality. She's so turned in on herself, so reluctant to actually do anything, that the novel becomes boring at times.
I liked this book, but I don't think I would have gotten it if offered again.
The book itself was great, but the ending left me wanting more resolution.
Lucy was the best.
Yes, maybe a movie would give me a more definate ending.
Does it surpass Jane Eyre? It's more real and more somber, urban rather than provincial. A portrait of the artist and what she wished to say about the life of a female genius in her times.
I dearly loved this novel by Charlotte Bronte. I have a great love for British Classic Novels and Mandy Weston so beautifully brought this story to life with her narrative. I was disheartened to read the prior review and thought to bring to light an alternate perspective of this novel. I believe Bronte created in Miss Lucy Snowe and M. Paul Emanuel the very contrasts in religion of the period. While Lucy voiced her opinion (albeit objections) of the Catholic faith during her forced education, and yes it was truly forced as is clearly advised to the reader, Paul offered the opposing view as a devout Catholic. Lucy complements the essence of the Catholic faith (the attributes of the faith in which are demonstrated by Paul) and renounces what she feels is a materialistic invasions on the purity of the faith. During this time period the ambition of the Roman Catholic Church across Europe can be argued as having been to assume the role of the dominating faith, repressing Protestantism as well as other emerging faiths. The story is less about religion itself and more about how the differing religious views play a vital role in the separation of Lucy and Paul. It is a beautifully written novel with descriptive elements that allow the listener to envision Lucy's world. Her solace outward countenance rivaled by her internal struggles, turmoils, and discoveries of her own self rarely displayed to her colleagues within the novel but rather to the listeners ear, engage the listener and create sympathy, empathy and a reverence for the character. Many times throughout the novel my chest ached at the suppression of Lucy's feeling and her determination to "put aside such things".
To the young and old readers alike, this novel is a gem, a treasure. I look forward to listening to it over and over again as I do not yet believe I have been enlightened to all this novel has to offer, nor may I ever. The lessons, or revelations, are so numerous from psychological, theological and cultural views, I believe Bronte's masterpiece could be studied for generations.
Every time the narrator said Pau.ly.na instead of Paulina, it was like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard.
It's such a simple name that it's hard to believe anyone would mispronounce it.
I think Kate Reading who has recorded Pride and Prejudice is outstanding.
I wish she would record Villette by Charlotte Bronte and Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.
The story is beautiful and one of my favorites so it's a "must hear" by another reader.
the heroine of this book has a station in life that is below all the other people that she interacts with but amazingly is their superior in all respects. her private thoughts tell the reader of her superiority which may be a silent bolster to the character but comes across as sheer condescension. trapped in circumstances she takes the blows issued by the smarmy characters surrounding her who control her life while she makes her private judgments of them. that seems to be the entire purpose of our dear perfect Lucy Snowe in Villette. a structurally fully developed novel that disappoints in action and in verisimilitude.
alas. a young reader can learn how to be condescending and superior to others by reading villette.
HOWEVER, Mandy Weston, the reader, is EXCELLENT! one of the finest i've heard.
This is my favourite audiobook! Of course because of Charlotte Bronte's novel, but the reading of Mandy Weston makes it so much more felt. Lucy Snow's musings, restraints are thouroughly full of sense. Other characters are given their own personality. The chemistry between the personages are sparkling. I am hearing this one over and over again.
I grew impatient at times, but there are some lovely bits to this book and it really is fantastically well read. Mandy Weston somehow manages to make Lucy Snowe a warmer, fuller character yet without betraying the spirit of the text. I'm not sure about giving the characters French accents when their words are translated, but I suppose it was an easy way to distinguish characters.
"Deeply thoughtful, and a touching love story"
Psychological character study, religious and philosophical meditation, and above all - a Romance with a touch of the Bronte Gothic, 'Villette' is all this and more. It is the story of Lucy Snowe, a young, orphaned English girl struggling to make her own way in life, who comes to live in the French town of Villette. It is a thoughtful, satisfying novel, with all the strength and beauty of Bronte's poetic language and vision. It is perhaps not as directly accessible as 'Jane Eyre' or even 'Shirley', it feels more mature in style, more thoughtful. It is a wonderful expression of the creative and spiritual mind of Charlotte Bronte, and a touching love story.
"Fascinating and Brilliant"
I had started this book and was not enamoured or sympathetic to the heroine. I thought her self satisfied and precious. I lost the book and so downloaded this version. Thanks to Mandy Weston's brilliant rendition my sympathies about faced and I loved and empathised with Lucy Snow. Please can we have much much more of Mandy Weston's lovely and tallented voice. She is a very welcome edition to Audible Books. It makes such a difference to a book as to who is reading aloud.
I was taken aback by the amount of school girl French I needed to remember but I managed. The book was read very well and I enjoyed the old fashioned English. I was glad I stuck to it and listened to the whole book, very enjoyable and I would recommend to others.
"Mandy Weston, the reader!"
Mandy Weston, great reader, fantastic voice!!!!
Very beautiful, amazing story! It must be listened! Cecilia
My impulse purchase of Vileltte on a £3.99 deal was a stroke of genius. I loved the story of Lucy Snowe - a mature masterpiece by Charlotte Bronte - I can believe it is not more well known. I am utterly taken in and want to start listening to it again. Today!
"Needs a better reader"
This book needed the reader to pay more careful attention to sense and sentence structure, and which words to emphasise. In particular, it seems to me fairly evident that Mandy Weston is not a natural French speaker. Why would you choose anyone to read this novel who didn't speak French fluently? The editor should have been more picky and, at least, needed to make sure that the French was accurately pronounced.
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