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Villette | [Charlotte Brontë]

Villette

Hailed as Charlotte Brontë’s “finest novel” by Virginia Woolf, Villette is the timeless semi-autobiographical tale of Lucy Snowe. Left with no family and no money, Lucy goes against her own timid nature and travels to the small city of Villette, France, where she becomes a school teacher in Madame Beck’s school for girls. During her stay, she falls in love—twice—and discovers an independent, inner strength rarely seen in women of her time.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Charlotte Brontë's Villette follows protagonist Lucy Snowe as she bounces from one career to another. First a servant, then a teacher, the hapless Snowe is besotted by family tragedy and doomed romance. Eloquent performer Davina Porter imbues the hard-working Snowe with solemnity tinged by optimism. Indeed, as an unwed, working woman in 19th-century Europe, Snowe must struggle to define herself against the prevailing gender codes of her day. Porter, known for her painstaking attention to historical detail, captures the mannerisms and conventions of Brontë's characters, lending context and veracity to this striking case study of a Victorian woman’s prospects for love, happiness, and independence.

Publisher's Summary

Hailed as Charlotte Brontë’s “finest novel” by Virginia Woolf, Villette is the timeless semi-autobiographical tale of Lucy Snowe. Left with no family and no money, Lucy goes against her own timid nature and travels to the small city of Villette, France, where she becomes a school teacher in Madame Beck’s school for girls. During her stay, she falls in love—twice—and discovers an independent, inner strength rarely seen in women of her time.

Public Domain (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (97 )
5 star
 (32)
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 (31)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Overall
3.7 (87 )
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (90 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    Lydia 03-19-15
    Lydia 03-19-15

    “Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    "Beautiful Narration, a bit long"

    At the 18 hour mark, I was wishing it would wrap up. I realize this is the age it was written.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin 09-07-14
    Kristin 09-07-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    13
    13
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    "You need to be a Bronte fan to enjoy this story"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    While I actually enjoyed this book, it is quite long. I also think you will have to be a Bronte fan to enjoy this story. There is quite a few conversations in French, and for those of us who do not speak the language that is quite a challenge.


    Would you recommend Villette to your friends? Why or why not?

    This is a book for audible listeners who enjoy long classical stories.


    What does Davina Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Davina Porter is a perfect narrator for this story. Without her excellent interpretation of the characters, it would be quite a challenge to get through the whole book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela 05-02-14
    Pamela 05-02-14

    Walking Gal

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Too much french"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a good book, however there's a lot of french in it. I can read french, but it was quite annoying to miss major plot points because they were read in french, Would have been useful, if not true to the book, to translate.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Clearly our main character- I like how she took her destiny in her own hands and went for what she wanted.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Davina Porter?

    Noone- she's always great


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica 09-01-13
    Jessica 09-01-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I couldn't believe..."

    that I managed to finish this book. I couldn't believe it was finally over. I thought it would never end. It went on .. and on ... and ON ... with very little plot to boast of, and characterization alternatingly overly subtle, then hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-hammer. This book was a chore, and one I'm glad is done.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodi 06-27-13
    Jodi 06-27-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great narration !"
    What does Davina Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She has fantastic french. She has specific voices for each character. She uses several different accents and pulls them off very well. She puts feeling and interest into her reading. I enjoyed Davina as a narrator.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peachnmario Palmdale, CA 03-17-15
    peachnmario Palmdale, CA 03-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "The Divine Ms. Porter delivers as always"

    A beautiful performance of Charlotte Bronte's highly under-appreciated (but best, in my opinion) work. Not just a reader who is good with dialects, Davina Porter is an *actress* who performs each book with passion, emotion, and full commitment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B Reader 03-17-15
    B Reader 03-17-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    11
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    Performance
    Story
    "I don't enjoy Porter as a narrator"
    Any additional comments?

    There is something about Davina Porter's voice that grates on my ears and, although I believe she has a fine command of characters and narration I just can't get past that nasal tone when she says words like "deep." I've found that because of this I'm completely unable to listen to more than just a few chapters of the Outlander series.

    The novel was an interesting listen, however my high school French was no match for the amount of French in this book and I became aggravated that I missed out on much conversation that would have been good to understand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reademandweep 12-30-14 Member Since 2014

    and a penny for your thoughts

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "OK for the diehard Victorian novel enthusiast"

    This certainly was no Jane Austen novel. It's rather uneventful, and dreary but if you love language as I do, you may like just the sound of it and Divina Porter is the best

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Annie
    Brentwood, United Kingdom
    5/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Delivery is all."
    If you could sum up Villette in three words, what would they be?

    This is a classic and worth reading for that alone. It also gives a social history.

    For me it was spoilt by unenthusiastic reading and by not including a translation of some of the most important parts of the text which was, at times, in French. I have heard this done by footnote references and this would only be needed where the French is relevant to the plot etc.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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